Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Walk in the Woods

A beautiful fall weekend in Indiana. The leaves are in full display of their fall colors. I love the orange, red and bursts of yellow. It seems to start so slowly, then all of the sudden, they are almost gone. Right on time, though. I always remember Halloween night when I was a girl, walking across the yards in my neighborhood, kicking leaves even in my costumes.

We couldn't resist this weekend, despite the fact that is was a little colder than usual, we headed off for a hike. Samuel was with his Grammy, out to lunch in celebration of his upcoming Halloween birthday. So it was just the four of us.

We went to one of our favorites, nearby Fort Ben State Park. The forest was beautiful and we kicked the leaves all along the trail.

Phillip took his explorer pack that included a jar in case he found any interest bugs so he could collect them and show them to his friend Graham. While the bugs were not out, we still had a wonderful hike. Thanks for a wonderful day!

Bye Bye, Baby..Bye Bye

Can you believe it? I am actually updating my blog. No sense spending a bunch of time on catching you up on the past few weeks. Let's just say it was hectic, mostly with work, but also with some family obligations (the good kind). Although, I am in good company. Seems as if many of my favorite bloggers are on a temporary slow-down.

Get this...I am participating in this blog entry every day in November deal. There are prizes, but I have no idea what they are. They say...but it is all Greek to me as they are related to technology and serious blog publishing. So, I am not in it for the prizes, more for the discipline and challenge of entering something every day.

Now on to this entry. I kissed my baby goodbye last Tuesday as he turned 2. I just cannot believe it. No more babies, for real. His skin is still soft, his hands, wrists and feet still stubby and chunky with delicious and kissable baby fat. His hair is still baby silk and his tummy still as round as a pregnant woman in her third trimester. But, his mouth is full of teeth, he prefers to walk most of the time instead of being carried and he talks using real words that communicate feelings, wants and needs. "More milk please." "Where's Daddy?" "Ohhh....Hi, Kitty!" "I want num [gum]." "Where's Elmo?"

Yes...gum. I know he is only just two, but have you ever handed out gum to two older siblings and been able to get it by a bossy two-year-old who is seriously convinced he is at least four? I just give him the tiniest little corner of a piece..honestly.

He is still yummy, but it is slipping away. Turning two and heading toward three is the beginning of the end (and the beginning of the beginning of the rest of the beginning...I know it is not the end, but certainly the end of the baby chapter). When Phillip was born, I wasn't crazy about the whole baby thing. It got so much easier for me by the time he was slightly more independent and could somewhat communicate, even with just expressions (say around 6 months). But, by the time Andrew was born, I had let much of that newborn/infant angst go and loved every second of it.

Perspective is responsible for a lot of that. I try to tell all of the women I know who have their first baby that is it hard in the beginning, but they should hold on to the fact that one day...sooner than they may think...that baby will thank them with a big, adorable, gummy smile. That baby will want only its mommy to hold him. That baby will work hard to crawl across a room just to climb into your arms. Then, it all starts to make sense (at least for me).

Magic are the moments you make them feel good, needed, loved, warm, safe, and comforted. Touched by the hand of God is the love between a mother and child. And each child so different than the others. Andrew has a spirit that reminds me of Sam and Phillip combined. He is so different than he was the day he was born.

Seems obvious I am sure, but before I go to bed, I stop in to see Phillip and Samuel sleeping and I still see that baby's face I studied so often while nursing them. Phillip's soft curvy nose and rosy cheeks. Samuel's furrowed brow and perfect little mouth. But, Andrew is so different than he was and his personality is, while incredibly wonderful and strong, much different than I thought it would be. I am not sure I have ever seen a two-year-old truly enjoy his birthday so much.

He loved to open the presents, got excited clapped his hands as the paper revealed his new treasures. He concentrated as we sang Happy Birthday and worked hard to blow out each of the two candles. He licked his plate clean of cake and icing and then, right back to playing with his new toys.

When it was all over, we heard that familiar silence heard mostly only on Christmas morning at our house, when everyone is busy playing quietly with their new toys. He went to bed happy as a peach, no doubt feeling safe, secure and loved by his big, loud family.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Long Overdue

A new post is long overdue and is forthcoming. But for now, check out Jeff's blog which has exactly what I would have posted on my blog (if I had time and he hadn't already posted it). For Father's Day and his birthday, I got him a history flight ( The flight was last Friday...he had a great time and it was wonderfully fulfilling to watch his excitment. Check it out at

More later (really).