16 December, 2009


Of myself mostly, and others. It's a no-win trap, and destructive. And I'm making a commitment to myself and my family to let go of it.

I never fit in very easily with mainstream society. My family was "different" as a child, and I had a handful of issues that I struggled with that made thriving difficult for me. After lots of therapy and hard work I had found a pretty comfortable place as an adult. I was relatively confident, felt good about myself and my life. I let go of the drive for perfection and concern about what others thought of me. And then I became a Mom.

I've never wanted anything more than I want this. This time in my life. I never dreamed of a big fancy wedding or McHouse. But this, this...

My love for my kids is profound, and I have learned that it is important to me that other people understand this somehow. Too important. This is where the concern about what others think of me and the choices I make comes in, and I'm ready to let it go. So I'm going to put on my very big girl pants, and walk forward as the woman I want my boys to know. Proud, but not bogged down by pride. And capable of letting go of what I imagine a really good mother to look like in order to celebrate the mother I am, and therefore the family we are.

We're not all of anything, but we are everything. Don't try to classify us, it won't work. I like it better that way. We're 32 flavors, at least. Ya know? So in order to be happy, I will let go of my insistence that I be a "good" Mom, and instead choose to be a happy Mom. A happy Mom who does not need the approval of others to feel successful.

I have this funny scenario in my head where my very insightful son is watching me struggle to bake bread, knit a hat, and make a delicious home made dinner, all while feeling pretty stressed out and inadequate. He would suggest I make boxed mac and cheese and sit down and relax. We like boxed mac and cheese, Mom. "Enough about you and what you need, don't you know a really good Mom makes everything from scratch?!" Not anymore. This scenario is a metaphor, but you get my drift. Join me in letting go. I'll still bake and knit, but I'll do it with joy. On our terms, without concern. I might also invite you over to my house to eat boxed dinner off paper plates.

You'll see my new sign, reading "Welcome to our home. Unconditional love lives here, all others need not apply."

27 November, 2009

Time with GG,

experiments with electricity,

snuggling with Grandma,

delicious food.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thankfulness abounds around these parts. Big, big thankfulness. Love to all of our friends and family who were not with us to celebrate.
Blessings to you all...
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22 November, 2009

The smiling eyes of a baby looking up to find his big brother. Big love...
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12 November, 2009

"Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth "you owe me." A love like that lights the whole world." ~ Hafiz

Read this on someones Mothering signature today and just had to share.

08 November, 2009

I am most at peace when I am in the outdoors. Always have been. I become easily overwhelmed when I'm in a big store, don't do well in crowds. When I'm having a rough time I remind myself to go outside, feel the sun on my face, and breathe. I am pretty sure my little fellas are like this too, and I just love sharing this time with them. The experience is very much their own, exploring, being. But I feel so fortunate to witness it.

We have some wonderful trails behind our house, we walked them today. You're welcome here any time-- really. Park in our driveway and just head on back. Let us know if you want some company. And enjoy.
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05 November, 2009

One of the boys' favorite shows is Curious George. Apparently there was an episode on recently which had good old George earning money for doing chores around the house. Not generally a tactic we employ around here, but maybe that will change.

Noah approached me yesterday asking if he could do some things to help out around the house. In exchange, he informed me, I should give him money. Then he could go to the store and buy whatever he wanted. Commercials, ugh.

When he returned minutes later asking for his payment I handed him a penny. A good start, I figured.

"No, no" he states, "I meant paper money."

Footnote: We're on Day 1 of TV Detox. It was a difficult morning, but we're getting through. Henry and William are now taking naps, and Noah is creating his own game. Well worth the pain, I think.

14 October, 2009

"Mommy, I'm going into outer space.
I want you to come, too. And William."

"Noah has to stay home."

09 October, 2009

Gooey Gunk, AKA SLIME!

My boys love messy, sensory "experiment" type activities. I love these types of activities too, and for those of you who need to know, they involve all sorts of curriculum connections. Math, Science, Reading, Art... But most importantly, they are lots of fun.

I have found many great activities in a favorite book of mine titled The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions. I have used it for years, and it is one of Noah's favorites. He pulls it off the shelf almost daily and asks to make something. We made SLIME the other day, and it turned out really well. You remember SLIME, don't you? It came in the little garbage can...


Solution A
1 c water
1 cup white glue
food coloring

Solution B
1 1/3 c warm water
4T Borax laundry booster


1. Mix ingredients in Solution A together in a medium bowl.
2. Mix ingredients in solution B together in another bowl until Borax is dissolved.
3. Slowly pour Solution A into Solution B. Do not mix!!
4. Roll around solutions 4-5 times. (I let it sit a few minutes.)
5. Lift Solution A out of Solution B and knead 2-3 minutes. Play!
6. Store in air tight container.

For a good free time...

visit the horse barns at UNH! The boys and I went over yesterday with some friends and had a great time! Our friends visit often and had some old apples with them; you can feed the horses unless a sign on their stall indicates otherwise. We fed the horses, played in the grass-- the boys loved it!

29 September, 2009


What we do when we make time to do nothing at all...

Picnics in the tree house, science and art on the front porch. Sometimes I wish I could put the rest of life on hold and just stay home and do nothing all day.

He laughs

Not a little laugh, William's been doing that for a while now. But a full on belly laugh, and it was fantastic. Henry was jumping on the couch and laughing himself. William and I then sat down next to him and William just started laughing. Henry thought this was great, and he was right.

The beginning of what I hope will be a life time filled with laughter. Shared among brothers. Added to the short list of great moments of my life.

18 September, 2009

It was a beautiful September afternoon. We were playing at the park. Noah approaches me with a dandelion, gone to seed.

"Here, Mama, make a wish," he requests.

I pause, giving the moment more thought than required.

"Did you wish that everything would stay just the way it is right now?"

Mind reader.

"Yeah, buddy, that's exactly what I wished."

12 September, 2009

Our little Lefty!

This statement could thrill me on so many levels, but Henry seems to be consistently using his left hand for just about everything these days. Of course this could still change, but it would be pretty cool...

02 September, 2009

Don't judge a book...

I wasn't so sure about Noah's new school. The building is not much to look at, the playground lacking. But I really liked the director and teacher so I figured we'd give it another try. School, that is.

The first time around didn't go very well, as most of you know. My spirited boy who loves to learn and couldn't wait to go to school was not received well by his previous teacher. Actually, I received negative feedback on the very first day. It never ended. Everything from "He takes too long to put on his snowsuit." to "I just don't connect with him.". (Don't connect with him?! Who says that to a parent?!) And of course the discussion about his "will". It's a strong one. Too independently minded. Yes, I understand this will very well, thank you. The will of my boy who was born almost 7 weeks early and never needed the NICU. It can be challenging, and I thank God every day for it. We didn't last the school year. But they did have a beautiful playground.

It took a lot of courage to try again. For both my first boy and me. And faith. God and I have had many conversations since we began a few weeks ago. I'm so glad we were feeling brave when we made this decision, because so far he loves it. Today, at pick up, I heard things like "he's really creative", "he was so excited today", and "it was a wonderful day". And there is a new favorite friend. He happens to be there on the same mornings as Noah. There was so much joy this afternoon at dismissal there was hugging. Want to guess his name? I kid not, it's Will Henry. Thanks, God. I owe you one.

28 August, 2009

noah and henry are playing in the sandbox. they are in the process of building the statue of liberty. the project requires written plans and tunnels. and water.

noah goes inside to get on his bathing suit, henry follows.

walking into the house henry turns to me and says "i wuv noah so much. i wuv noah so much.".

we approach noah and repeat what henry has said. noah replies "aw, i love you so much too, henry. come here, i want to tell you a secret.". he then gives henry a big hug and kiss.

he apparently has hugged henry too tightly, because henry truns around and smacks him.

i guess this is what they call brotherly love.

15 August, 2009


Here are some pictures of William's first trip to the Aquarium. His first trip to Boston, too, which was extra cool for me. He slept in his sling the entire time. :)

The Aquarium was great, although very crowded. I don't recommend visiting during summer vacation, unless you get there when they first open. Last time we went we did so on a Sunday morning and it was perfect. I felt like I needed a shield around me to protect William from the bumps a crowd invites. I walked with my hands around him, clearly indicating that bumping into my babe would be a mistake. I'm a little bit crazy when it comes to my kids, as you all probably know.

Check out the extra friendly seal in this picture.

And a nice family shot taken by a friendly newly engaged couple.

10 August, 2009

Lemonade anyone?

Noah has really been enjoying school, which I am so thankful for. When he is there I get to have some special time with Henry and William, but primarily Henry at this point because William is often asleep. I am loving it. We had a lemonade and toast party today, and it was lovely.
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08 August, 2009


The boys and I started working on a butterfly garden after William was born. A tribute to him, and to my outdoor loving fellas who worked so hard at being patient with my ill tempered, sedentary ways during the last weeks of my pregnancy. We just finished mulching it the other day. Here are some recent pics. The butterflies are loving it.

05 August, 2009

Spidey fun

Hope you are enjoying your day as much as they are.

04 August, 2009


He's been working on this for a while now. One of the many things that makes me feel like my oldest boy is getting...big.

02 August, 2009


William's first trip fruit picking at the wonderful Butternut Farm. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

30 July, 2009

Kid lessons

This is how Noah got himself ready for school the other day, socks and necklace. (Yes, we're back on the school thing. So far he is really liking it. Three cheers for all the good teachers out there, but I digress.)

As you can see, he is already in the Halloween spirit. I asked him if he wanted help picking out socks, and he said no. When I commented on the fact that they were Halloween socks ( I don't know why I did this) he asked if the kids might laugh at him. My heart sank. I have never heard him ask this before. "Not unless they want to deal with me." I wanted to reply. But I didn't. I was busy regretting my question.

"Do you care if they do?" I asked, quietly praying that I would hear the answer I was hoping for.

Teasing, laughing at this boy I love just so. very. much. I'm not equipped to handle this. Really, I'm not. How does a parent handle this??

He shook his head. "No", he answered, "I don't".

I smiled. I want to be more like that.

20 July, 2009

Swing set

Check out our beautiful new swing set, built entirely by Peter (with some help from the boys)!

Lucky dog, lucky dog...

13 July, 2009

Look out, Lance

"Mama, I had the fanciest dream last night. I dreamed my bike could fly."

09 July, 2009

THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle

:: Are You Your Child's Friend? ::

"You are the *parent*, not your child's friend!"
Herein lies another tragic loss wrought by the
either/or mentality of conventional parenting advice.

Why not be a parent AND a friend? After all, a friend
is anyone you KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST -- all worthy
qualities of a parent-child relationship.

Certainly, we want to be knowable and trustworthy to
our children. Being *likable* is good, too, but it's
often confused with *niceness*. When friends sacrifice
authenticity in order to be "nice," healthy boundaries
go out the window. That's the kind of "friendship" you
don't want with your children -- or anyone!

A true blue friend is one who puts trusting and
knowing above liking, so s/he's willing to be totally
authentic with you about his or her boundaries and
limits. And don't you *like* knowing that your friend
*is* who s/he appears to be?

Children who haven't learned our culture's sanctioned
INauthenticity can teach us a lot about being a
friend. They hide nothing (knowable) and always speak
their truth (trustable).

Whether they can be so transparent *and* likable is
up to you: Do you like realness more than superficial

08 July, 2009

Enough with the rain already!!

Okay, really, enough is enough. Obviously Mother Nature didn't get the memo that we were going to be coming home last month with a newborn and needed some nice weather for our 2 and 4 year old. And their Mom and Dad. We have been doing our best to maintain sanity- riding bikes in the garage, painting, wrestling, watching 5 hours a day of TV. Okay, maybe not 5, but if feels like it. But we need to get outside. Peter has been taking the boys on rainy walks in the woods, which has been nice, but just not adequate with me tending to a newborn and attempting to build an arc. He had them out yesterday in the pouring rain, probably not our best parenting moment, but a necessary one. People in passing cars were happy to see them out walking, Peter reports. I think they were probably asking themselves why the nice man from down the street had his kids out in a rain storm. Oh, Sun, where are you??!!

04 July, 2009


I am fuming right now, maybe to a degree higher than the crime warrants, but fuming nevertheless.

We have a child safety gate the runs across our driveway to help keep the boys away from the road, a very busy road, and last night someone stole the pole used to hold it in place. William and I went to check the mail and found the gate on the ground without the pole. Initially I thought one of the boys may have taken it out to play with but we cannot seem to find it. And Peter thinks someone took it last night. With all the hormones raging through my body these days I found myself wishing I had previously set up surveillance cameras so I would be able to track down whoever took it. I would then go to their house and whack them upside the head yelling "It's a child safety gate, ASSHOLE!! It keeps my kids out of the road!!" Peter reminded me that ranting about hitting people in the head in front of the boys might not be the best lesson for them, but I disagree. It is a perfect lesson. Sort of like the lesson I will teach about getting arrested. If you need to be bailed out because you have been protesting the WTO, or have been participating in a human rights rally, etc., call us right away. If, however, you need bailing out because you have, um, stolen part of someones child safety gate in a drunken stupor, don't call right away. Call Grandma.

Maybe I should put a sign in front of the house that warns people "Hormonal Mama lives here, don't piss her off." "Or else."

02 July, 2009


lovin', lovin' this baby boy, in my new favorite Craigslist find, wearing this sweet little knit hat made by Grandma. These are the days...

30 June, 2009


William had a big blow out of a poop yesterday that required an immediate trip to the tubby. Noah was very excited to help, and in the most enthusiastic of tones exclaimed--

"Oh, cool, William! That's so cool it's pooperific!"

24 June, 2009


He's here!! We are so unbelievably blessed. The joy is no less profound the third time around. There truly are no words for this feeling.

Welcome, my sweet. We love you so...
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27 May, 2009

Who are you, again?

This has been one of those mornings. Not that kind you are probably thinking of. The other kind. The kind you want to, need to, remember when you are having one of those other mornings. Art instead of TV. Playing together- for hours- instead of fighting. I have heard things like "Don't worry, Mama, I'll help him", and "It's okay, there is space for us both on the chair". Statements that make me pause, and want to ask "Who are you, again??".

But of course I know who they are. They are 2 and 4, and people just like the rest of us. With moods, good moments and not so good moments. They are fiery and bold, and not afraid to express themselves. Sometimes this is challenging. Okay, very challenging. And requires an amount of patience that I don't always have. And sometimes this energy comes through in such a wonderful way, it leaves me quiet.

I sometimes feel like I don't know what I'm doing as a parent. People assume I should know, I have spent a lot of years studying child development, after all. But the truth is, often times the best lesson for me is to just sit back and let my children be. Encourage them to be kind, respectful, but otherwise just allow them to unfold. And not fear the complexity that it just part of human nature. The good and the bad. But man, the good is just so great, isn't it?

15 May, 2009


Something interesting happened yesterday afternoon while Henry and I were reading. We were snuggled up on the couch together enjoying P.D.Eastman's "Are you My Mother?" when we came to a page that held particular interest for Henry. The one near the end when the baby bird is crying for his mother. He asked three times to go back to the page, which we did. He started saying things like "bird sad", "miss his Mommy". And then he started to cry. Not a full sob or anything, but tears in his eyes, about to spill down. And he then told me "make me sad". I was struck by this demonstration of empathy from such a little boy, and again reminded of how much more sensitive we all are then we honor, even in our earliest years. A good friend and I were having a conversation about this very thing a few days ago. I think this quality is all too often underestimated, especially in our children. I know how easy it is to do. We justify actions/words towards our children that we would never tolerate as adults, all with the rationalization that they are too young to understand. This is my thinking- they are not too young. Understand differently, perhaps, with less sophistication. But understand never the less. Maybe all the more reason to handle this unfolding emotional development with a bit more care. Let me remember this today.
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17 April, 2009

The greatest thing.

I received this note yesterday, slipped into my hands between a story and dinner. There are not words to describe how powerful this moment was for me.
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