Thursday, May 27, 2010

According to Eric

After learning some cool new facts about starfish, he announced later in the day, "Starfish eat with their belly buttons."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Camping? And the beach? How could it get better than that?! Needless to say, we had a great time . . .

fun in the sun

Whenever I think of my childhood summers, sprinklers (and popsicles) are what come to mind first. I can't help but smile watching our kids having the same sunny wet fun.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sarah and a Cockroach

We went camping over the weekend, and we all had a great time. (Pictures showing all the joy are coming soon!) However, this lovely experience ended abruptly each time we had to use the facilities. The first time we went in, I noted the dying cockroach, belly up, in the corner (and chose not to share this with the kids). I noted the lack of soap, just in case we might like to wash our hands, which is something I like to do, especially after seeing cockroaches nearby, not to mention after using the bathroom.

Some background, just to be clear about how much these insects gross me out. (I feel nauseated every time I see one.) Growing up in South Florida, roaches were part of life. There, they were two inches long and we called them palmetto bugs. Did I mention they fly? Spending two years at summer camp and getting hit by them frequently, when they weren't watching where they were going, didn't help.

So, back to the camp bathroom . . .

Eric's using the toilet and I'm helping him. Sarah says to me, "Mommy, there's a cricket over here." Note to self - she's looking at the cockroach. "Uh-huh," I say, unable and unwilling to give her my full attention. "I'm carrying it by its ears," comes next. "WHAT!? No, put it DOWN!!"

I turn around and see Sarah drop the cockroach in the middle of the bathroom floor. "That's a cockroach, not a cricket. We don't EVER touch those." Sarah replies, "I tried to pick it up by its feet, but it squirmed too much."

Oh, stomach, stop lurching!

"Sarah, cockroaches carry germs. I think it's great that you tried to take it outside and I'm proud of you for being thoughtful. But that's a COCKROACH. We DO NOT PICK THOSE UP. Do you understand?" Sarah says, "Yes." I look around and am reminded that there's no soap. GROSS. "Okay, don't touch anything. Let's go wash your hands at the campsite."

I take a breath. I rub her head. "I'm proud of you for trying to help." Sarah says, "Yeah. I thought it was a cricket." She found several more during the trip and pointed them out to me. "There's one. Oh, there's another." But she didn't pick any up. Good girl.

And - if you're wondering - this is one phobia that I'm okay passing down to the next generation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Animal Encounters

We've seen - and held - our fair share of amphibians and reptiles in the last few weeks. We've found three snakes, two of which were the size of an earthworm and brand new, in our yard. We've played with tadpoles and baby frogs at Ayr Mount, a place where we walk sometimes. There were lots of turtles at the Ft. Fisher Aquarium and a salamander hitched a ride back home from the beach. (We sent him on his way and wish him well in his new environment.)

However silly it may seem, I find myself feeling quite protective of whatever little animal we encounter. I make it very clear to be very careful and gentle with them. (Sarah knows this and listens well, and Eric needs reminding - surprised?) With the recent BP spill in mind, I'm hyper-aware of the negative impact we all have, often without intention to do harm. If there's one thing that I hope Sarah and Eric learn, and learn well, it would be to treat others, no matter how very small, with respect.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

This morning, Sarah pulled out a tablecloth that my dad's mom embroidered a long time ago. She placed it on the kitchen table because she wanted the table to be fancy for Mother's Day. It has seen better days - it has stains now and is wrinkled from being shoved too quickly into the dress up chest. Today, Sarah added some green crayon. Despite the disheveled appearance and rough treatment, I cherish it. And then it struck me - today of all days, Sarah decided to go and find it. Without realizing it, Sarah gave me the opportunity to reflect on those who've been where I am now, and the treasures that remind us of them.

I thought about Brian's mom and how her quilts keep my children warm at night. I thought about the sweaters, hats, and mittens she makes for them each year (and a sweater for me this year, which I love!) I thought about the wedding quilt she made us and the afghan that decorates our sofa.

I thought about my mom and her needlework, which decorates both kids' rooms. I thought about her baskets that decorate my kitchen and family room, holding napkins, magazines, and bread. I thought about the baby quilts she made.

I thought about my aunts and Brian's aunt and the baby afghans and quilts that they made. The pillowcases, the baskets, the stuffed animals, and dress up clothes for my kids.

I thought about the afghans and pillow from my dad's mom in the playroom, and the rag rug from his great grandma.

I thought about the afghan and baby sweaters from my own childhood that were made by my mom's mom.

I am overwhelmed. I am so fortunate. Thank you - for all that you've offered and given. Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Family Run

We ran our first family run this morning, with everyone participating. Sarah and Brian ran the mile, I ran a 5k, and Eric ran about 50 feet. We did it largely because of Sarah's enthusiasm to run a "long" race. She did great - and made us proud.

Sarah waiting at the start line. I can't get over how small she looks . . .

Brian and Sarah running the mile. A first for Sarah (and Brian says the last for him, but I think I Sarah could talk him into it again.)

Brian and Sarah showing off their medals after the race.

Eric ran the "little" race.

Go Eric!!

I received a medal for coming in second in my age group. (I'm thinking there were maybe five of us, but who's counting?)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Sarah and Eric helped me make some really chocolatey, really indulgent cupcakes - using a recipe from A Homemade Life - for Brian's birthday. The kids were very good, very eager helpers. We didn't get around to eating more than the batter today, because we celebrated a four-year-old friend's birthday this evening, but I'm certain we'll get our chocolate fix tomorrow. Happy, happy birthday, Brian. Here's to another great year ahead!