Monday, July 20, 2015

Teddy, Teddy Two Two

Teddy turned two a couple weeks ago. I was dreaming up a little birthday party with lots of trains, cars, trucks, and tractors... but I didn't pull that off, despite putting together a killer Pinterest board. Next year?

His birthday is July 5th and we were at the lake over his birthday. We were lucky to have his best friend and cousin, little Clara there to celebrate. The two had a wonderful time together all weekend in the water and out of the water. I made the easiest birthday cake I've ever made and we sang to him several times. He loves the happy birthday song and kept wanting it over and over. The cake was chocolate, with chocolate frosting and crushed up Oreos. (Cal and Clark loved crushing the Oreos.) I stuck some toy construction equipment on it and BAM! Construction Site cake. He loved it, but not as much as Clara loved it. For some reason he's not keen on getting his hands dirty, but Clara loves to.

Here is a list of  some of our favorite Teddy-words.

Our Favorite Teddy -isms: 

Happ-ER-dee (Happy Birthday)

BAH-gidge (garbage truck)

GAH-gee (doggie)

CUH-k (Clark)



Biggy (Gammy)

Bugga (Grandma)



AH-duh, AH-duh (all done)

bases (while running in circles)

Bah-bah-BAH (bottle)

WAH-chis (watch this)

BUG uh zur (bulldozer)

Toss (Thomas the train) 

Em ee LEE (Emily the engine)

WOO WOO (ambulance and/or fire truck) 

UH cuh cur (excavator) 

AH-guh NEW-ooz (all gone noodles) 

HEP-eeze (help please)

HUD (hug)

DEN tuhl (gentle)

Why why wess (Wild, Wild West) 

E-I-E-I-O (anytime there's a barn or farm animals or hay bales, etc)

Ta-da! The birthday boy

Dirt pile cake

Model lips

Eating with construction equipment

Sure Mom, I'll just sit here and look at the water...

I'll get a LITTLE closer...

Yeah, this is better.

Kayak get-away

5th of July boy

Beach bums

What a blessing little Theodore John is! I can't imagine life without him.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My Lake Muse: The Idaho in Me

I used to write poetry. Some of it was marginally good. Some dear souls have told me it was better than marginally good, but I have my doubts. I haven't written much poetry the past few years. I've written some to the boys on their birthdays that I will share with them one day, and I used to write a poem each year on my birthday, but that's about it. I miss it. (I did write and share this poem about not writing poetry a couple years ago.)

Today we returned from our Independence Day week at Smith Mountain Lake. There's just something about a lake that brings out whatever is left of the poet in me. One morning I woke before my loud, vacationing monsters and had my coffee in solitary silence as the lake woke up. I was thinking about Idaho, because most of my childhood Fourths of July were spent on Coeur d'Alene Lake at my grandparents' house. The smells and sounds and sights of the two most influential-to-me Idaho places came back to me there on the front porch overlooking the lake. And I managed to not only write them down, but to revise them, and keep the folded-up piece of paper safely stowed in my suitcase until we got home.

The Idaho in Me

When I’m dead and
I want someone who loved me
to read this and


the thick chill of spring mornings
on West Hatter Creek
as the day crept
silently across the gravel,
the packed dirt.

As sunshine summoned mist,
that army of tiny, connected apparitions,
up and up
from their night on the rocks,
on the patchy grass,
the weeds.

From the stately purple Irises
guarding the
wet black

I want someone I love to


the similar but different
hum of summer mornings
on Bloomsburg Bay
as sun polished the
glass of the
uninterrupted lake.

As beach waves
at the pebbly sand.

As motor boats drew
small, disheveled sleepers like me
back to yesterday’s games
of tag and make-believe
under secrets of the
cherry tree leaves.

These are my quiet
mornings of the
in me

and I want

to know them too.

My boating boys this weekend

Monday, June 8, 2015

Balcony, Baseball, and My Best Boys

I interrupt this blog drought.

Main reason: I've had pneumonia for six days. After a couple days of increasingly worse chest and back pain, and a fever, I went to the emergency room at 3 AM on Friday. They ruled out heart problems with and EKG, took a blood test that showed I might have a blot clot in my lung, and did a CT scan that showed I had pneumonia. I don't know how I could have gotten it. I've had no congestion or cold or anything. Turns out pneumonia is incredibly painful and draining. Brian was predictably awesome about taking care of the boys and taking them out so I could rest. I'm still only able to walk around for a little while at a time without feeling winded.

This morning when I woke up I suddenly had an idea: a good way to spend some winded time would be writing a blog entry. Then I rolled over and saw a hockey goalie helmet on my bed, which wasn't as weird to me as it should have been. Neither was the distant, raspy sound of the Darth Vader helmet telling me my powers were weak. I don't know the power of the Dark Side, it told me.

The boys had gotten up before me and, using a broom, gotten Cheerios down from the top shelf in the pantry and made themselves breakfast. Fortunately I spotted the lidless carton of milk without its lid on it by the edge of the table before the boys knocked it over and learned the power of my dark side.

It's a lovely morning and Teddy and I had a nice time watering balcony plants and then he drove his stuffed animals to Gammy's house:

Then we made a bubble bath in the cooler, which consumed the better part of an hour:

Just add blue food coloring...

We smelled the flowers and herbs.

We watched for buses and garbage trucks. ("BAH-good-j trucks" Teddy says.) And saw a loud fire engine. A bee prompted some Teddy-Mommy snuggling.

And Teddy got a dry shirt and snack.

Even though breathing in deeply isn't something I can do, it's been a lovely morning.

While I'm at it, here are some pictures from our Reston Little League end-of-the-season picnic yesterday. Brian was awarded the Coach-of-the-Year award for the second year in a row! I'm proud of him for all his work and I love to watch him with the kids, who adore him. They've all improved and his coaching has somehow become even more creative and fun to watch.

Marlins Rookie Ball representatives: Andrew in the Fastest Runner competition, Clark, Arlo, Charlie, Shan (not pictured) All-Star game players, and Calvin in the Farthest Thrower competition. What a great season we've had!

Cousins discovering Italian Ice their baseball gear

Blue ice tongue

Running off the Italian ice

National League Rookie Ball All-Stars

The Pledge

Players introduced

Watching Big Brother Clark the Shark in the batter's box
Okay, I've caught my breath sufficiently. Blog drought reinstated...but hopefully it won't take pneumonia to prompt me to put together another entry.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snow Daze

We've had a lot of snow/ice/cold days this winter, just like last year. Here it is, March 5th, and it's another snow day. I think I can speak for everyone in the Northern Virginia/ DC area when I say we are over the snow and ready for spring. I'm sick of dressing up the boys to go out into the snow and cleaning up all their saturated snow clothes, so today I brought snow in to them. We made a snow scene and volcanoes in a plastic bin in the living room. There were shrieks of laughter as the boys delighted in the utter destruction of their dinosaurs and other little toys...which kind of bothers me, but I think it's a boy thing. Here are pictures.

Clark puts baking soda in cups and bottles.

Burying the cups in the snow

Setting the scene with dinosaurs, astronauts, Spiderman, tropical fish, etc.

The scene-setting lasted for around 45 minutes as there were
numerous attacks, avalanches, fights...

astronauts snowboarding down mountains...

Mountain reconstruction

A dinosaur sneaking up on a snowboarding astronaut

Explorers too near the mouth of the volcano

Fish in a pond
As vinegar is poured into the food coloring and baking soda,
explorers are overcome by bubbling lava!

Destruction is everywhere!

No one can escape.

Some are completely buried alive.

Subsequent eruptions abounded.

Tragedy was widespread.

Explosions caused avalanches that resulted in more casualties.
As the dust settled...

More eruptions began!

After cleaning up the pieces they mixed the colors in the snow.

And T-bird helped clean up the little toys in a bucket of fresh snow.

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