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September 30th, 2016 · by map · 1 Comment

Tweens today! Amiright?

On the way to pick up Ava from swim earlier this week, I texted her as I left the driveway. The following ensued:


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This is on me

September 2nd, 2016 · by map · No Comments

While walking Emmett to school this morning (hand-in-hand…sigh), we spotted a murder of crows in the tops of the dying trees near the high school tennis courts. “I wonder what they’re doing up there,” I asked. And Emmett goes, “maybe they’re playing crowquet” (emphasis his).

He’s gonna be OK.

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I hate this shirt

December 18th, 2015 · by map · No Comments

It gaps right above the waist on my pants. I know it does this. I’ve known it since the first time I wore it, years ago. Yet I haven’t thrown it out or donated it somewhere.

And I don’t mean it gaps a little. A child or dainty adult could slip his or her hand in there and poke my stomach without difficulty.

Happy Christmas.

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Love in the modern age

September 11th, 2015 · by map · No Comments

Emmett’s been having a little trouble this week at school dropoff. Mostly, he’s just been sad, refusing to go into the school and clinging to his mom.

So, yesterday, Emmett and his teacher, Rachel, came up with a plan/compromise to help ease this process. It was going to be a surprise, so Leah was kept in the dark until this morning, when she received this in her inbox:

From: Emmett’s Teacher
Date: Fri, Sep 11, 2015 at 8:46 AM
To: Leah

Hi Mom this is Emmett,
I love you!

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August 24th, 2015 · by map · No Comments

Aaaaaannnd we’re off! Ava and Emmett managed to set aside their petty sibling squabbles long enough this morning to pose for a quick shot in their First Day finery.

It was a perfect morning for walking to school, which Leah did with the kids while I drove the car and met them at Hoover. I can’t wait to hear how their days went!

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August 21st, 2015 · by map · 1 Comment

Emmett, during his bath last night: “I wonder how much my penis weighs?”

I will spare you, dear reader, the details of the ensuing conversation. Suffice it to say, Emmett still has a very rudimentary notion of the relative weights of worldly items.

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Lucky break

August 13th, 2015 · by map · No Comments

The lucky part being there was no break.


Had I been playing this game of kickball with adults my own age rather than a bunch of 9-year-olds, I probably wouldn’t have felt compelled to dive for the catch. But these kids are in their formative years; if you can get to the ball, you get to it, even if that requires a dive that lands on your shoulder.

It’s been almost three weeks now, and there’s still some tenderness in the shoulder that gives me pause when attempting certain movements. My hope is that I’m nearing 100% inside the 6-week outside estimate of the standard recovery time for a separated shoulder.

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July 23rd, 2015 · by map · 1 Comment

First time in 11 years we’ve been home with no kids, and all I can do is miss them. 

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Heaven can wait

April 3rd, 2015 · by Leah · No Comments

This morning, Emmett wandered into the bathroom while I was getting ready for work and casually asked, “When I die, will I go to heaven?” My heart lurched at the question, and I felt tears prick my eyes, but I calmly said, “Some people believe in heaven. I’m not sure if I do. I don’t really know what happens to us when we die. No one knows for sure.” Then I asked him, “Do you believe in heaven?” He said, “Yes, I do. I want to go to heaven because I want to be with my grandpa and other people who love me.” Because both of his grandfathers still are alive, I said, “Which grandpa?” He paused and said, “My great, great, great grandpa.” I bent down to hug him and said, “That sounds really nice. I’d like to think that when we die, we all join back up with the people who are connected to us and who love us most.”

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Do the evolution

January 5th, 2015 · by map · No Comments

Emmett’s mom shares this tidbit from the boy’s bedtime last night:

Mom, did you know that eons from now, narwhals will grow legs . . . and then hooves and tails . . . and then they’ll become unicorns? But it will take years and years and years before that happens.

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It’s a Hard Knock Life

December 4th, 2014 · by map · No Comments

Ava has a big concert tonight, so she slept in curlers last night so her ‘do would be all bouncin’ and behavin’ today. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:

Ava's curls

Hair’s kind of an ongoing thing with Ava. Seems like both kids got my hair, which is finer and not as full as their mother’s. For a 10-year-old girl who pines for long, luxurious locks, having hair like her old man’s is a bit of a curse. But she sure looked great this morning when she left the house; I hope the curls have held up!

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What sound does that make?

November 15th, 2014 · by map · No Comments

Emmett’s on the brink of reading on his own. This morning, Leah opened up her laptop to find the ancestry.com page loaded in a browser (Ava had been looking at it). Emmett, looking over her shoulder, said, “ancestry.” We asked how he knew what that word is, and he replied, “I just did!”

And just now, I heard Emmett walk from his room down to Ava’s and ask her, “what sound does ‘shh’ make?” Obviously he’d been looking at a book in his room and encountered those letters. Ava told Emmett which letters were responsible, and as he walked back to his room, he said, softly, to himself, “S H S H S H.” Emmett doesn’t know enough to be excited about this momentous point in his life, so Leah and I are going to be excited for him.

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Tough guy

October 9th, 2014 · by map · No Comments

Leah, ECP, and I rushed up to school last evening after work to take advantage of the flu shot clinic being held there. Last year, Emmett opted for a shot over the nasal spray out of an abundance of ignorance. This year, though, he was adamant before we even got out of the car that he was going to get the shot. Which is a good thing, because they were out of nasal spray by the time we arrived.

I could see Emmett’s nerve waver just a teensy bit when he heard that the shot was the only option, but strong encouragement from the clinic volunteers and his parents bolstered him enough that he pushed his way over to the nurse and sat right down for his medicine. From where he sat, Emmett could see me getting my shot, which I think calmed him a bit. I looked over at the boy just as the nurse plunged her needle into his arm, and he barely flinched. And then it was done!

Emmett fussed a bit this morning about his sore shoulder, but I assured him that it would feel better as he moved around during the day. No doubt it won’t be long before he has another bump or bruise with which to occupy his time; maybe he already has!

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That’s that, then

August 19th, 2014 · by map · No Comments

This morning we sent Emmett off to his first day of kindergarten. Everything went much better than even a typical school morning. We gathered up all the supplies and backpacks and lunches and snacks and headed out the door right on time for the hot, humid walk up to Hoover Elementary. Once there, the kids immediately started talking to their friends while they queued up in their respective class lines; Leah flitted from parent to parent, commiserating on the passage of time and trying not to cry. As usual, I took pictures:

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July 31st, 2014 · by map · No Comments

Emmett’s just learning to ride his bike. We’ve had some periods of impatience and frustration, but overall, things are going well.

The other evening, he and I were out in the street, practicing his starts, when some of the neighbor kids came over to ride, too. Emmett got upset, because he can’t seem to not pay attention to these other riders when they’re nearby. So he finally stopped one of them and said, “You need to stay away from me; I’m trying to ride my bike!”

Later, when I was lying with Emmett at bedtime, I said, “Emmett, you have to speak nicely to your friends. Instead of saying what you did, just say something like, ‘Please give me a little space to ride right now. I’m just learning.’ OK?”

“Well,” he said, “those two things were racing in my head, but that one was too slow!”

At least there was a race.

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My dear little Emmett

June 25th, 2014 · by Leah · No Comments

Last week, you found one of your baby toys–a stuffed frog that plays a lullaby–in your toy basket, and you clutched it all evening. You seemed very melancholy throughout the night, and at bedtime, I realized that you were sobbing quietly into your pillow. When I asked you what was wrong, you said, in a very small, sad voice, “Time goes by too fast.”

This is not the first time you have cried about time’s swift passage–and the process of growing older. A month earlier, when I was rubbing your back and singing “Hush Little Baby,” you also burst into tears and said the very same thing. When I tried to comfort you, you replied, “But time does go by too fast! I miss being a baby and having you sing me those songs.”

Oh, my boy, it seems we must certainly share one heart. Each day that I get with you is another that I’d like to freeze in time. And every so often, I look ahead, with bittersweet sorrow, to the days when you will be older, and I won’t be able to hold you close like this anymore.

You are right, sweet Emmett. Time does go by too fast. But for now, let me sing you another lullaby.

I love you,

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Bedtime story

April 20th, 2014 · by map · No Comments

Emmett likes to hear stories when he’s drifting off to sleep at night. Recently, he’s been taking the initiative. He had the following conversation with Leah tonight:

Emmett: Now I am going to tell you a story about when I was a baby.

Leah: OK…sounds great!

…long pause…

Emmett: Hmm. It seems I have forgotten my entire childhood already.

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On the way to gymnastics this morning

February 15th, 2014 · by map · No Comments

Life’s little moments. So precious!

Emmett (out of the blue): This car smells like asses.
*long pause*
Me: It smells like what?
Emmett: ASSES! It smells like ASSES!
*shorter pause*
Me: What makes it smell like that?
Emmett: It just smells like fire asses. I don’t know.
Ava: *LOL*

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Big boy

January 22nd, 2014 · by Leah · No Comments

Last night, as I was lying with Emmett, he (out of the blue) said, “I will be five soon, and then I will go to kindergarten.” We talked for a bit about kindergarten, and how he would be at school with Ava, and then he got very quiet. After a moment, I realized that he was quietly crying. When I asked him what was wrong, he said, in a very small, sad voice, “I don’t want to grow up.” I said, “Oh, honey, why not? Growing up is so fun. You’re going to love it!” Then he said, still crying, “But mama, if I grow up, I won’t be able to cuddle with you anymore.” I held him so close and told him I would always cuddle with him, no matter how big he got. Then I talked to him a little more about all the great things that growing up makes possible (doing Legos, eating ice cream, etc.). It made my heart almost break. My sweet, sweet boy.

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¡Viva Mexico!

January 21st, 2014 · by map · No Comments

We returned from Isla Mujeres late last Sunday night after a week of (mostly) fun in the (mostly) sun.

This year, I decided to take along only my iPhone 5S instead of my Canon XTi for photographs. I think the results are OK. One thing is for sure: I found myself shooting more often and more conveniently than when I’ve had a DSLR slung around my neck. What’s more, it was nice to get the shots backed up to the cloud in the evening via the (mostly) reliable WiFi in our condo. The quality of the images, overall, isn’t as good — of course — as what I would’ve captured with the XTi, but this year’s vacation felt a little more like a vacation and a little less like a photo shoot than the last couple years, and I liked it (even if Leah didn’t care for any of the images that included her).

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