Monday, August 27, 2007


I owe you more, I know. I understand the disappointment that comes with clicking on your favorite URL only to find there is no new post. You re-read old ones, just so you can maybe see some old photos or have a quick chuckle over a forgotten anecdote. But it isn't the same.

It's hard to come up with new material sometimes, though. I mean, the guys provide it pretty regularly but it's not as if I have a computer at my fingertips. Some of the best dialogue comes from a conversation in the car but I often lose track of the thread by the time I get in front of a computer, usually after dinner has been made, dishes cleaned, teeth brushed and stories read.

Lately, they've been a bit mean to one another. The tiniest bit of provocation can turn them into venom-spewing, foot stomping scowly faces. Before you know it, all I hear is "you're mean" then "no, you're mean" and on and on and on. I guess I knew that this was all part of having kids. I recall fighting with my brother and my mom became so fed up with us. I understand how she felt now. It's all so childish. Yes, I realize the irony of that sentence - they are, after all, children.

Joseph, one of the teachers at the daycare, told me last week that he can tell a lot about a kid by what happens when that child is absent. So, for example, when Dean is not there, kids don't get hurt as often. When Jack's not there, Joseph doesn't have anyone to help him clean. I don't want to give Dean a bad rep. He's absolutely committed to whatever he's doing and when his activity is threatened, he is protective. Sometimes with his teeth. Joseph explained that his teeth are his best defense, particularly against someone like James who outweighs him by 30 pounds. And in a way, he went on to say, it is brilliant in its simplicity. I like that Joseph respects his ingenuity, even when condemning his action. Dean has one more year to figure out how to manage his temper before starting kindergarten. I don't think he'll receive the same pass once he's in public school.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Grandma's Memories

Could I add what I remember about your midwestern vacation?

Not only picnicking in the park, the playgrounds, swimming/floating the "Cattail Crick" at the Tropicanoe Cove. Watching Jack and Dean enjoy digging holes in the sand and filling them with water both at Tropicanoe Cove and Indiana Beach. One digging, the other filling then they would without speaking switch roles as if in some silent agreement working on their architectural masterpiece. Visiting the petting zoo, digging for dinosaur bones in the archeology pit. Watching them joyously run from ride to ride at Indiana Beach while their mother and I sat on benches totally enjoying their carefree abandon. Getting to see the cousins (Jack, Dean, Miles and Charlie) play together at their Uncle Chad and Aunt Jenny's house. Even the occasional fussing couldn't dim my joy. Uncle Chad and Aunt Jenny had such fun things planned like tie-dying t-shirts, a visit to the petting zoo, swimming, great food. And who knew that a hammock could occupy Jack, Dean and Miles for the better part of 2 hours. I loved (and at the same time it broke my heart) to watch little 1 year old Charlie doing his best to keep up with his older cousins and big brother. He never got frustrated...he just kept forging ahead, eyes bright and shiny with a big grin pasted across his face.

I also remember fun rides on the cow cart, going as fast as it could up and down the hills on the 1/2 mile out to the main highway from our house. Jack and Dean with their hands up in the air like they were riding the Cornball Express at Indiana Beach! Stopping along the way so they could catch lightening bugs on those warm, endless summer nights so typical of Indiana. Blowing bubbles on the driveway with Jack asking his mom if he could take his clothes off - she said yes and he did. So free, hopping on and off the tricycles, riding through the paths around the woods. Jack with his work ethic, begging me to let him use the leaf blower. You kiddin' me? Here you go, kid, here's the on/off switch and you can start on the front porch. He would blow until the battery ran down. Luckily Grandma had a spare all charged so he could continue with his "fun".

Fourth of July Celebration on Slayter Hill at Purdue. While I sang with the Freedom Singers I could watch you all on the hill tumbling around like puppies, playing, waving flags, meeting up with Kelsi's step-brother and his fiancee and their combined clan. The boys meeting cousin Tyler and his friend Tucker for the first time. Watching fireworks. Having so much fun with T&T and vice versa.

What about the fabled "toy closet". Two pairs of brown eyes filled with wonder as Grandma opened the door that before had only lived in their imagination. Sitting at the table in the basement kitchen busily creating masterpieces that now hang on my refrigerator. Jack standing on a chair mastering the arcade game of "Ms. PacMan". Both staring at wonder at the juke box and I'm sure thinking to themselves, why does Grandma have something like that when mommy has a thing smaller than a cell phone that plays more music?

The Wright Family Reunion where close and distant relation came together. Jack and Dean having fun in the pool with their mom, Uncle Chad, Aunt Jenny, Miles and Charlie along with a bunch of other cousins. What about the water balloon fights back at home after the reunion with Tyler and Tucker? We must have gone through more than 100 water balloons.

Most of all I remember the night before you left. Kelsi came upstairs to report that the boys were tucked in but awake. While Kelsi and Bernie played Euchre with Uncle Dave and Aunt Teri I went downstairs to the bedroom. Jack had fallen asleep but Dean was awake. I laid down beside Dean and while Jack slept peacefully and with Dean's funny little "tree frog" fingers intertwined with mine, telling me he was sad to leave we recounted the entire two weeks. Dean's pipey little voice adding details long forgotten by me. We talked until we fell asleep. I'm not sure who dropped off first but the next thing I knew Kelsi was gently touching my shoulder to wake me.

I had fun - I sure hope you did.

Love, Mom (aka Grandma)

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Special Hug

Jack: Mom? Where were me and Dean when you and Daddy got married?
Me: Well, you weren't born yet.
Jack: But where were we?
Me: Do you want to have children someday?
Jack: Yes.
Me: Where do you think your children are?
Jack: Nowhere?
Me: Well, I think they're in your heart. You want to have children and that desire lives in your heart. So, you and Dean were in our hearts.
Jack: Oh.

Jack: Well, then how did you make us?
Me: Uhhhhhhhh . . . . . .
Jack: Did you and daddy give each other a special hug?
Me: Yep. We gave each other a special hug.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


My cholesterol is down to 206 from 271!!!

Without medication!!

I'm so happy!

You can tell because I've used multiple explanation points!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Growing Up

On getting older . . .

Dean: Soon I'm going to learn so much. I'm going to learn how to drive. And you know what? I'm going to try really hard not to lose my driver's license. I am. I'm going to keep it in my wallet with my dollars and my money and my cards. And, I'm going to get married and have kids. But I'm going to be sad because I won't get to see you.

Me: Well, maybe you will live close to me and we'll get to see each other. Maybe we can have lunch together or you can come over for dinner.

Dean: Yeah, we can have lunch together! I'm going to take my kids to school in the morning on Fridays.

Me: Who is going to take them the other days?

Dean: The babysitter.

Me: I'll take them if I can.

Dean: Yeah! Maybe you can be their babysitter! I'm going to have a boy and a girl and I'm going to name them Fireboy and . . . um, BEN!

Me: Fireboy and Ben? I thought you were going to have a boy and a girl?

Dean: I am.

Me: Then what's the girl's name?

Dean: Ben.

Me: Oh.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Every Day

Our morning routine is fairly static. The boys get up, dress themselves and have breakfast while I shower and get ready for work and Tom checks the stock market. Then, when it's time to leave, Tom walks them out to the car, buckles their seatbelts and kisses them goodbye. He stands in the front yard as I pull out of the driveway and we always stop in the street before going on. Jack is always on the right side of the back seat and I always have his window down so the following exchange can occur:

Jack: Goodbye!
Daddy: Goodbye!
Jack: Have a good day!
Daddy: Ok, you too!
Jack: I love you!
Daddy: I love you, too!
Jack: I love you so much!
Daddy: I love you so much, too!
Jack: I love you every day!!

You get the point. While Dean is plotting world domination with his transformer, Jack is exclaiming to Daddy and our entire neighborhood the depth of his love.

I love you every day.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Friday, August 03, 2007

Vacation Redux

Finally, I'm sitting down to write about our midwestern vacation. Sorry folks - it's not that I didn't want to write about it. Just been nutty.
First of all, the boys were total angels on the plane. I got to do sudoku puzzles the whole way and they slept through most of it. Once on the ground, grandma presented each of them with a shrek buddy and with that, the boys were smitten. Mom brought me a beautiful red rose, a really sweet gesture that I'm not sure I fully appreciated at the time. Thanks mom - that was very thoughtful.
The next several days followed with a flurry of activity from visiting my grandparents to swimming at the Cove to having a water fight at Indiana Beach, aka the Redneck Riviera. Then the boys and I drove to Chicago to visit with Eddie and Elizabeth. The boys had their first subway ride and first trolley ride - our transportation to Navy Pier and the Children's Museum. Following the museum, we took a cab back to the apartment to meet up with Elizabeth and then on to Greek town for dinner. The boys fell asleep 5 minutes after leaving the restaurant and stayed asleep even through a car seat transfer. I said my goodbyes and headed to Chad and Jenny's.
We spent several days with Chad and Jenny, Miles and Charlie. Despite a bad headache on day 3, we had a good time with lots of euchre, beer, and play time - not necessarily in that order. The boys and I took off again and headed south to Papi's house. It didn't take long for the boys to explore the tree house that dad built oh, 14 years ago. There were missing ladder rungs and a precarious suspension bridge which the boys didn't mind at all. I, on the other hand, had to remind myself to breathe with my heart lodged firmly in my throat! Dad pushed them on the tire swing high enough so they could touch the tree branches with their feet. Me with the heart in the throat! Finally, I determined it would be better if I just went in the house where I couldn't see them flying through the air. They also loved bouncing on the trampoline which, surprisingly, didn't bother me at all. After a few days and lots of ice cream, we headed back to grandma's house. Again, we went to the cove and the petting zoo, rode the rides and the train at the park. All too soon it was time to come home. We missed Tom and were ready to be back in our own beds but we were sad to leave.
And now, we've been home for over a month. In that time we've taken another mini-vacation when our niece Meghan visited from Pennsylvania. We traveled up to Santa Cruz and spent 2 days driving back down the coast - stopping in Monterey to go to the aquarium, Cambria to sleep and see the sea lions (or are they seals? we can't tell the difference), Carpenteria to eat and frolic in the surf.
We're back to our routine, boys are happy to be back to daycare and every now and then I wake up in the middle of the night trying to work through some space problem at work. This time however, I haven't given up the sudoku puzzles. I have my book sitting next to the couch and once in a while I pull it out to do a few. I've even managed to successfully complete some 3-star ones.
It's nice sitting here reliving our vacation.
Think I'll go have a beer.