Thursday, June 28, 2012


and it feels so good...

Yesterday, our friends arrived.

Graham and Amanda have been friends since before Graham was one and Amanda was learning to walk.

They haven't seen each other since we left Oklahoma two years ago.

As they were strolling hand-in-hand down the street today, Graham said, "Amanda. I haven't seen you in a long, long, time. I've missed you."

Amanda said, "I know. I missed you, too. I love you."

"I love you, too."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

15 weeks


Oh. Hi, Alaina. Happy 15 week birthday! How's it going? People always ask me how you and your big brother are getting along. What would you like me to tell them?

"Tell them I think he's pretty great."


"And silly. Tell them I think he's a little weird and silly, which confuses me."


"So, when he gets too rambunctious, I have to put him in his place because that's what sisters are for."


Too fast. This is happening way too fast. Can we please just stop the clock for moment?

Monday, June 25, 2012

and they're green

Hmmm. It appears my link did not work in the good ole US of A, so you will just have to look for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Youtube and show it to your kid.

But I should warn you. Once you start, there is no going back. You will forever be acting out scenes and getting called Leonardo by your kid.

Each person in our family is now a turtle. Graham is Raphael, Tony is Donatello, Alaina is Michelangelo, and I am Leonardo, the leader, obviously. 

Things will never be the same around here.

Heroes in a half-shell.

Turtle power.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


If you would like to grow exponentially more cool in the eyes of your five-year-old who somehow believes he or she becomes a ninja in the night, show him or her this on a Saturday morning:

You're welcome.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A & O

I bopped on over to the local grocery store called the A & O this morning, loaded the stroller with sustenance, and then tried to buy it, but they weren't able to take my debit card. Obviously, I didn't have cash, because I never have cash when I need it, which is all the time in this town, because lots of places don't take cards. The cashier took pity on me and allowed me to take the groceries and come back to pay later. She wrote my name down and then threw an extra bag of pasta into my loot.

Not a bad Thursday, so far.

Go out and enjoy yours.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the story behind the unusual cake

There are a couple of blogs I like to read that involve mothering and food and domestic life. Whenever they present a piece of food, it looks delicious and wonderful and shiny and new and as if they had no trouble whatsoever in the process of preparing it. And, somehow, they have time to stop and take impeccable photos along the way. You know the ones I'm talking about.

Due to these blogs, I was inspired to make something glorious for my son on his fifth birthday. Fifth. As in, five. I can't get used to it. I envisioned a delightful strawberry shortcake cake covered in a spider web with a little Spiderman figurine on top because Graham loves all things strawberry and he's pretty into Spiderman and superheros these days. It was going to be perfect. And I was going to let Graham help me make it and decorate it.

That's where the story begins. It was time to frost the cake. I only had 30 minutes to work with before it was time to get the kids ready for bed (bedtime for the kids is rarely compromised in our house). I dabbed the first dollop of frosting onto the strawberries and my heart stopped when I heard an explosion coming from where Alaina was sitting. When Alaina poops, it's always an explosion. When we were in Florence with our friends, she was happily riding along on her dad in the Bjorn when suddenly our friend, Elena, exclaimed "Ahhhhhhh!" while pointing in Tony's direction. Poop was oozing from every direction. Yes, I just said, "oozing." Sorry. Out of the Bjorn, onto the street, and onto Tony's shorts. I ran to the nearest church and thanked the gods who invented baby wipes. So, cake decoration was interrupted by one of these explosions as I ran Alaina toward the bathroom with Graham behind me shouting, "MOM! It's dripping onto the floor!"

I was carefully peeling off Alaina's onsie, trying desperately not to get poop all over her head, thinking about how to make that cake look good and how to clean up the poop drippings and whether to just put Alaina to bed before trying to finish the cake or to keep her up and put the kids to bed at the same time, but her chair was all messed up on account of the poop, and she can be cranky without her chair, so I should probably just put her to bed, but she definitely needs a bath right this minute, so I should go ahead and do that, and Graham is asking me something about sting rays. "Huh? Graham? What did you say?"

"Do sting rays lose their stingers when they sting someone?"

"Um, yes. I think so. Aw, geeze, Graham, I don't know. Can you please plug the sink?"

"The what?"

"The sink."


"Plug the sink, please."


"Never mind."

"Sting rays float along in the ocean, right?"

"Aw geeze."

So, now I'm thinking about sting rays and how to answer Graham's questions while bathing Alaina and making sure not to let her slip out of my hands while Graham is swinging like a monkey on the towel hanging on the towel hook. I forgot to stop and tell him to be careful. He was standing on his stool, grabbing the towel, then jumping into the air and swinging, saying, "Weeeeeeeeeee!!" He swung back toward the sink, and BAM! he hit is mouth on the counter. Game over. Blood everywhere. Slippery baby, bleeding, crying son. Blood and poop all over the place. Crying baby, too, because she's cold. I can't tell you how I made it through. I just went into some kind of mother's instinct superhero survival mode and got Alaina calmed and happily put to bed and Graham consoled at the same time. It just happened. Don't ask me how.

On to the cake decorating once again. It turns out that I am such a far cry from those amazing bloggers that I can't even make a spider web with frosting, so I just let Graham do it all by himself. Then the piping bag burst and we all just went to bed.


At least the cake tasted delicious.


The end.

Monday, June 18, 2012






five-year-old child.

Stay tuned for the story behind that unusual cake.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I don't know how it happened.

One minute, I was feeding Alaina in an apartment near San Lorenzo Market in Florence. I was prepared to pack her and Graham up and take them out on the town, like we always do when we travel. The next thing I knew, Steve's mom was holding Alaina and Steve's dad was playing with Graham and they told us to leave. Get out. Leave the children.

I didn't stop to think. I just walked out the door. Hand-in-hand with the love of my life and our best friend and the love of his life.

We blissfully skipped through the streets and piazzas and gelato shops and wine shops. I said, "I need a bottle..." and before I could finish my sentence with "water," the boys said, "Wine. Yep. We need wine."

And, suddenly, there we were. Sipping wine (and water) on the  Ponte Santa Trinitata and discussing politics and how to farm and feed the children in El Salvador. Grown up talk. With no interruptions. And no worries about my child falling off the bridge.

It was a dream. A dream I will never forget.

Thank you, White family. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

stephen + elena = love

We returned from Florence, yesterday.

I feel as though I am still floating around on a cloud of love and hope and sadness and homesickness all at the same time.


I loved seeing my friend and his new wife in Florence.


Seeing their love gave me hope.

But I'm sad because they had to leave and our time in Italy together is over.

Homesick, because our friend reminds me of home. He is home.

And I miss him.

Friday, June 8, 2012

off to Florence once again

I'll see ya'll back here in five days or so.

I'm going to Florence.


I found it rather surreal when I notified my almost five-year-old that we would be going to Florence and he said, "Ahh. Mooom. I don't want to see the Daaaaviidd!"

Um, my kid can identify famous art with its city??


Catch ya later.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

get through tomorrow

All I have to do is get through tomorrow, and then begins two months of nonstop fun.

The day after tomorrow, I get to pick up Tony from the airport and then drive to Florence to see one of my favorite people in the world. Our really good friend from high school is visiting one of my favorite cities in the whole world, and we get to hang out with him there. Fun is bound to happen.

Later in June, another friend is planning to visit (still crossing my fingers and hoping it all works out, so I'll fill you in on the details, later).

At the end of June, we're going to see Tom Petty in Lucca.

In the middle of July, we are going to drive to Oberammergou, Germany and then on to other various cities around Eastern Europe. Cities like Budapest!

At the end of July, we'll celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. Woot!

Two months of solid fun, I cannot wait for you!

I just have to get through tomorrow.

One diaper at a time.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

"here you are"

For the past few weeks, Graham has been sweetly saying, "Here you are" whenever he hands me something. I didn't think much of it except that it was cute. I actually started using the line myself whenever I would hand him something.

We went to his very first preschool play yesterday. Glancing at the program, we noticed that Graham's role was "the apple" in a thrilling rendition of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."

 Do you think you can guess what his line was?

 His one and only line was, "Here you are."

 Melt is what my heart did when I realized he'd been practicing his line all month.

And the practice paid off, because he delivered it effortlessly and flawlessly.

And the caterpillars ate the apple and turned into beautiful butterflies and all was well with the world until I sat down to write this blog...

 Because I decided to get some wine, first, since Tony is currently at the emergency room getting a giant cactus sliver dislodged from his shin and I am at home and bored on a Saturday night and so why not have a glass of wine while I blog?? So, when I went to grab the bottle, it fell. Onto the tile. And shattered into millions of pieces. I bet you can't guess what color the wine was? It was red. Red wine everywhere.

Done is what I am with this day.

Go enjoy your Saturday night for me.

Goodnight, people.