Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chubby yummy goodness

As far as kids go, this is my favorite age. Communicating but not too
much, sleeps through the night, eats, plays and gives lots of
unconditional love. Of course ours isn't walking yet ... Surely by
Christmas, I said. I'd say it's just a matter of weeks because he
really is so close, but I've said that before. It doesn't matter that
my back is breaking in a million places from carrying him around.
Let it be known that Thomas isn't going to do a single thing until he
decides he's ready to do it. And if that's the way he lives his life,
good for him.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It'd help if I added the picture

Dih. See previous post

Christmas wishes

I remember getting Christmas wish books in the mail when I was a kid
and pouring through them for weeks. I'd circle things I knew there was
no way on gods green earth I'd get, like a trampoline or a battery
powered Barbie car or later in the delicious neiman and Marcus
catalogue, makeup. I'd read the descriptions over and over again,
imagining all the fun I could have if the Barbie car really could run
for up to four hours without a charge. It was good to dream and to
this day I still prefer them to the Internet.
So here's Tayloe, starting young with the dollar general wish book.
It's taken it's place among his favorite bedtime reads. The other day
he tried to comfort Thomas with it. 'Read this Thomas,' he said
through his brothers wails. There's nothing so wrong that a picture of
a $3 remote control tractor can't fix.

Monday, December 07, 2009

My family

Tayloe came home from school last week with this picture in his
He was so excited to show it to me and quickly told me that the person
in blue is daddy, the person in pink is mommy, the big kid is Tayloe
and the baby is Thomas.
"Looks like you had a good time coloring Thomas," I said.
"Yeah," he said. "He was cold so I covered him up."
(or decided to suffocate him, either way).

Thursday, December 03, 2009

asleep at the wheel

that's kinda how i've been feeling. does my lack of posts make it obvious? the busyness of this time of year always my head swim anyway, but lately i've just felt like i can only get the basic stuff done. i tried to take a photo of the boys yesterday for a christmas card. i should know better by now, but sometimes i just can't help myself.
instead of the happy, gleaming image i imagined i got two screaming kids, one with juice spilled all over his head. i took a picture of that, thinking maybe reality would be better, but even it didn't come out. one's crawling away so fast he's a blur and the other ducked out of the frame just as i pushed the button. so it's basically a picture of a chair.
i can't even seem to get the advent calendar stuffed. three days in a row i've had to distract tayloe so that i could get the treats in before he saw. no way i can keep that up.
i gotta wake up and get with it or we're going find the family truckster cruising east bound at 80 in the west bound lane. hhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnk.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


twinsies, both at 14 months, give or take. if thomas keeps eating the way he does (he weighs 25 1/2 lbs) it won't be long before people really think they are.

Monday, November 02, 2009

lightning mcqueen it was

there are other, better photos but they're stuck on my camera and will remain there until i can find the silly rip cord thingamabob that i ALWAYS lose. belch.
we had a great halloween - a party at tayloe's school and then trick or treating on the lawn at UVa. the dazed look on little tayloe's face kinda says it all - he's always been overwhelmed in crowds. so many people, so much to do, never really sure where to start. we guided him along and he had fun. after about 45 minutes he took off his costume and told us he was ready to go home.
thomas, on the other hand, could have sat in his stroller batting his balloon and drooling on his lollipop all day. i thought he was going to buck at being in his zebra costume, but he didn't mind it at all. as long as he has a snack and someone else is doing the work he's perfectly content.
saturday night we'd planned on trick or treating in our little town of scottsville, but rainy weather and the bucket of halloween candy we already had helped us change our minds. instead, we watched charlie brown and got tayloe really excited for trick or treaters - all 2 of them - to come to our house. he kept calling them 'tricker trickers' and that combined with the way he sat peering out the front window waiting for them kinda melted my heart.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

trick's on me

the lightning mcqueen halloween costume that's sitting on the counter staring at me just told me what i already know.
i am a big, fat sucker. and that i'm a lunatic because i'm talking to a foam car. and because i'm telling you that i'm talking to a foam car.
i paid $40 and an additional $15 in shipping- $55 total, more than i paid for my last pair of shoes - for this thing. $15 to ship foam people. think about that for a minute.
it came today and was waiting for tayloe when he woke up from his nap - the finest synthetics $55 can buy, bright cherry red, the stupid lightning mcqueen expression smeared on its front just like in the movie. the kid's been pretending he's a race car - this race car - for the last 5 weeks so i didn't really think it was unreasonable to assume he'd be excited to see it.
oh but wait. 3 year olds are complete psychopaths.
he came into the kitchen. stared at it for a few minutes. sucked down a cup of milk. stared at it some more. finally, after some prompting, he put it on, ran around the house once making loud engine noises and then quietly took it off in his brother's room and left it on the floor. i'm sure i don't have to tell you that boys aren't quiet when they're excited about something.
he didn't say he didn't like it, but i'm gonna guess that's because he didn't want to hurt my feelings. it was that obvious i was more excited than he was.
of course, i know this game. your choices as a mother are to either learn to handle psychosis or put your head in a 500 degree oven. i wiped the disappointment off my face, didn't say 'DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH THIS THING COST?' even though it was on the tippy tip tip of my tongue and moved on.
will he wear it to his school's halloween party tomorrow? to halloween festivities tomorrow evening? trick or treating saturday? who knows. tonight as i tucked him in he told me he wanted to be a ghost so he could say boo. (do. not. strangle. do. not. strangle. do. not. strangle.)
later i picked lightning mcqueen up and put him on the counter. where he sits now. still staring.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

a third

aw, your boys are so pretty. you should have a girl!
people say that to us a lot. like it's something we can just order up. sometimes i say 'i know' because of course i think my kids are beautiful and mostly perfect and who doesn't want more of that.
sometimes i balk because let's be honest - the thought of another child, girl or boy (but mostly boy), makes me shake uncontrollably. if i did have a direct line to God, i don't think the very first thing i'd ask for would be another baby. peace, health, happiness, a nice pair of winter boots and then maybe ...
see i can't say no definitively (though tayloe seems to be able to just fine, which poses another kind of problem. but forget that for now & play along). it's something about the 13/14/15 month age. a baby quickly, almost too quickly, stops being a baby and starts being a toddler (mines not actually toddling but again, play along). pretty soon the crib will be down and the baby clothes packed up and it'll all be behind us. totally done. i know what it feels like to be OK with something - ready to leave one thing behind and leap eagerly toward the next. i don't feel it.
here's the part where you start to think i'm certifiable. even at the end of the worst days - when everything is a complete mess i'm still not able to say no. there's barf on my favorite shirt. no more kids. i haven't slept a full night in 3 years. no more kids. someone's always whining in my ear. no, no, no, no.
well, maybe ....
the other day at starbucks a woman asked me how many children i had. know what i said? 3. i know! i've lost my mind.
the cherry on top of the crazy lady sundae is that i'd be perfectly fine with another boy. sometimes i even think i'd prefer it. somebody stop me.
i can barely make sense of this myself, so don't you go trying. maybe it'll pass and i'll suddenly have that OK feeling. i don't know.
here's what i do know. i know myself better and love myself more today than i did yesterday, three days ago, three years ago. i had no idea what i was capable of, good and bad, and i'm not sure i ever would have discovered it if i hadn't chosen this path. i'm grateful for every moment of this life and if one day there's more, well that'd just make it all the better.

Monday, October 12, 2009

9 lives

it's almost halloween, so allow me to scare you. god knows the incident i'm about to recap was so crap-in-the-pants frightening there's enough yikes to go around.
a few weeks ago tayloe, thomas, below mentioned johnny and i went for a walk along the river. beautiful day, happy boys, wet dog - life was fine. and then everything wasn't.
thomas was in the stroller and johnny was off his leash retrieving tennis balls. tayloe was tagging along behind collecting sticks and walnuts. with an arm full, he asked me to stop and help him. i took my hand off the stroller to turn around and see what exactly he needed and in that moment, johnny's wet seeming 1,000 lb tail whopped the stroller and sent it rolling down the riverbank and plunging into the cool early october waters. i hadn't put the foot break on.
t2 screamed, i screamed, thomas screamed and as i ran down the bank after it i watched as the stroller, with our 13 month old baby strapped into it, sunk into chilly early october river water. i dove in but struggled to pull the stroller up and flip it over. maybe it was tayloe's shrieks from the side. maybe it was just pure adrenaline. the only thing i could think to do was dive under and shove it up from underneath. so i did. it bobbed (no pun intended. at all. although that is kinda funny) to the surface and there was my baby boy, drenched and shivering and shrieking, but very much alive. little tayloe was very much alive too, sobbing from the shore and yelling 'my baby brother, my baby brother!' i'd say, 'it's OK, he's OK,' & he'd sob back , 'mama he's NOT OK. he's SOAKING WET.' well yes, there's that.
what happened after that is kind of a blur of panic. i ran everyone back to the truck, cranked the heat and had them both in a hot bath in what seemed like minutes. as quickly as it had happened it was over and everything was back to normal.
except for me. tayloe came in from his office and said i looked like i'd seen a ghost. a ghost that tried to drown me. and maybe rip my heart out.
even after thomas was warmed up, in pjs and tucked into bed, i couldn't stop imagining what he would have looked like if he'd stopped breathing. i imagined what i'd of done, how absolutely positively dreadful it all could have gone. sometime around 1 a.m. i snuck into thomas' room, snuggled him in my arms and sat with him in the dark for nearly an hour.
because everything is ok and i eventually was able to get the shocking images out of my mind, i can look back on it with a little humor. no one else was around, but had they been the scene surely would have looked like a total cluster *&uck. a baptism gone terribly, terribly wrong. for days after t2 told everyone he saw that his baby brother rolled down the hill in his stroller and landed in the river. nice.
my iphone, which was in the strollers' cup holder, went dead for 2 days and then slowly came back to life. still, it shows signs of trauma. when i try to open certain applications it tries, blinks a few times and then goes black. i can almost hear it saying, 'hey lady, i've got your facebook status update: 'put the f'ing foot break on!'
and i rue the day when thomas tells me he's been having water submersion nightmares. and then rolling down a hill uncontrollably nightmares. and then soaking wet & freezing nightmares. and when all of this comes after we've just gotten over the you hate me and are trying to kill me nightmares.
when i look at this pic, taken by my mother in law this weekend, i see sweet smiling alive thomas and i feel overwhelmed with relief and joy and love.
that's my thomas. toughest kid on the block.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Here's johnny

Life is incomplete without a dog, I just didn't expect to get so much
dog when we got johnny. He's not quite 7 months, weighs about 85 lbs
and has at least a mile of skin to grow into.
Now I think every dog is the best dog I've ever had, but johnny
seriously is a fantastic dog. Sure he busted through the bathroom
window for no good and he can destroy a sippy cup in 2 seconds flat.
But he's all love. Thomas can put his whole head in johnnys mouth (not
that he has, er hum..) and his only reaction is a tail wag. His goofy
laid back personality so compliments our family it seems like he's
been with us forever.
Of course there will always be wolly, who was unique in a completely
different way. But I think if wolly could have hand picked a dog for
us, even he couldn't have denied the complete awesomeness of johnny

Friday, September 25, 2009

Balloon chasing

Not sure this is how our little town intended for the new farmers
market pavillion to be used, but it's good fun on a rainy day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


No, we aren't getting one, but what's cuter than a lab puppy? A yellow
haired kid with a lab puppy maybe.
This was a big event for little Tayloe - he got to skip his bath and
go out after dark with his uncle geoff and me to visit these one week
old pups. I'm always a little fearful in situations like these that
the bad side of crazy is going to turn loose, but this time it didn't.
He was just as kind and calm as he could be.
Sweetness brings out sweetness I guess. Note to self ....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Apple picking

We went apple picking this afternoon. Any idea the kind of disrespect
a baby has for his diaper after 2 green apples?

Monday, September 14, 2009

You come too, mom

Sometimes I'm so caught up in the day to day that I forget our kids
will have a life together that is beyond their father and me. Not long
from now their paths and personalities will be shaped more by each
other than by us. Maybe I'll think differently later, but mostly I'm
really happy they are so close in age.
Is it true for you - that the best parenting experiences are when
you're just tagging along on their adventure?
It seems so obvious.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A photos worth a zillion words

Take a look. I'm giving you a visual of what our week has looked like.
Nnnooo mommy. I don't want to mommy. Let me do it! You're in my space,
That last one is my favorite. Precious right?
Oh three. You ugly beast.
But let's give a kid a break. He started preschool. No drama on the
surface, but he's bright enough to know it marked the end if one thing
and the beginning of another.
He's realized the pool, his favorite place in the whole world, is
He has the sniffles.
His dad was away for a few days and then had a busy week.
So ok. I'm willing to just write this week's bad behavior and constant
demands and inane negotiating off. God knows I've been no saint.
Cocktail hour came early more than once.
All I'm asking - and I'm asking it because I don't want to end up in
jail - is for my sense of humor to stay intact. Help me bury it deep
inside, safe from all the hen pecking.
Peck. Peck. Peck peck peck peck peck peck

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bedtime at the rock house

The boys and I are at Mt. Airy for the weekend. When we told Tayloe
where we were going he said, "ooohhh, the rock house!"
Stone, son. Stone

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Welcome to the new blaby

After months of blogger laziness, i used my newfound freetime this
morning (t2 in school, thomas napping) to snitzy up this here blog.
Now I can update my blog quickly from my iPhone, which I bet I'll do
all the time. Expect to see a lot more of us on the fly and in almost
real time!I hope I can better capture some of the moments that happen
everyday because it seems that lately good bloggish stuff happens and
by the end of the day I have no head space for downloading photos and
composing sentences.
Should also be fun for you to laugh at my typos - the iPhone keyboard
has a mind of it's own. You understand.

Testing to see if I can post from my phone. Did it work?


thomas turned one last tuesday. i'm still not sure how that's possible, but ok. we had a small celebration for him at home - presents and cupcakes. no hesitation on the cupcake - food doesn't last very long in front of him. he's growing so fast - and he's so smart. he knows exactly how to get his brother's attention (pick up his favorite toys, of course). he watches people so intently i can't help but think i'm really in for it when he's really up and moving and can download all that information. and yet, i'm really excited about his next year. as challenging as it will be, i can't wait to see him come into his own. before long he'll be running right next to his brother, standing up for himself and doing things 'all by myself.' sniff.
meanwhile, we've been gearing tayloe up for preschool. it's at the episcopal church in scottsville only 1/2 a mile from our house. it wasn't my first choice, but i think it'll be just fine. he's thrilled about the toys there and seems genuinely excited to make friends. so off he trucked with his beloved baby tucked in his backpack, new shoes and all the confidence in the world.
break. my. heart.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

some video

sometimes it's just good.

Monday, August 17, 2009

almost 1


hi from thomas. mr. serious. mr. i'm going to check you out for 20 minutes and make sure you aren't a serial killer. mr. you have to work to make me smile. unless i know you and i'm 100 percent sure you aren't a serial killer. then i'll smile for you. maybe.
i have no idea where this year went. woosh. poof. gone. thomas will be 1 on the Sept. 1. i'm a little ashamed to admit this, but in my mind he's still only about 4 months old so, you know, i'm pretty shocked by this whole approaching birthday thing. somebody has their dates mixed up. and it's not me.
today little tayloe and i were outside cutting the grass while thomas was napping. we finished up and got off the tractor and he went his way and i went mine. after a few minutes he came over and said he heard thomas crying and that we should go inside and 'ask him if he had a good nap.' charmed i said OK, knowing there was no way he heard him crying because the AC was on and all the windows were shut. plus i have super sonic mom ears making it impossible for him to hear something i didn't.
but sure enough we went inside and thomas was in fact awake & crying. kind of amazed, i asked tayloe how he'd heard thomas.
he said, 'i dunno. i just heard him.' well then. i guess that pretty much explains it.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

quick catch up

thomas started crawling (finally)
tayloe turned 3. he got a new swingset and wants to have a birthday party just about every week. last friday he said, 'mom, i have a birthday coming up, right?'
thomas is 11 months and uses words on a regular basis. uh-oh, pee-boo, nigh-nigh, broda (brother) and bye-bye among them. this totally amazes me.
tayloe hasn't had an accident during the day or at night in i don't know how long.
thomas has 4 upper teeth coming in and hasn't slept through the night in at least two weeks, maybe longer. it's really very unfun.
tayloe is still on the waiting list for the preschool we prefer and although they keep telling me to have faith, it's making me very nervous. crazy nervous.
my camera just became unbroke so maybe someday soon i'll post some pictures again. and video.
tayloe asks 4 million questions a day and his most favorite thing to do is to tell me when there's a red light, when there's a green light and when a big hill is coming up.
our puppy june was lost all last week after a fence door was left open. turns out she was right down the street making friends with a new family.
johnny, our male puppy, probably weighs close to 60 lbs. he's 5 months old.
tayloe calls his umbrella his 'rainbrella.'
thomas eats more food than seems humanly possible.
big tayloe turned 40 caught a ginormous 6.5 pound bass in the mill pond the day after his birthday. it was so exciting i cried.
we have more tomatoes than we could ever possibly eat. ever.

Monday, June 15, 2009

oldie but goodie

i meant to post this months ago. cracks me up.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

merry christmas from the tayloe emerys!

if i were the kind of person who wrote those my family is better than your family christmas letters, this would be my section on little tayloe for 2009:
not only is he very handsome and charming, a gifted singer and athlete, he's also the most independent child in charlottesville! he barely needed any toilet training at all - just one day of soggy pants and that was it, he was ready to be a big kid!!! and big kid he is - each day at summer camp he said goodbye to us with a huge smile and greeted us when we picked him up with an inventive craft worthy of art gallery walls (image left). we're so proud of our 'little man' and tell everyone we know how outstanding and remarkable he is. we've already alerted Harvard to make room in the class of 2025 because the next Emery is on his way!!! kidding, of course! (not really)
barf. hiccup.
the truth of course is that t's eaten enough gummy life savers to send rocket fueled only by sugar into space, had one memorable (embarrassing) accident on the preschool director's office floor and i'm about to have to make good on purchasing a garage for his thomas trains. and he is independent and doesn't have trouble being left places or with other people, but he doesn't really have a choice. preschool also has about a zillion toys he's never seen before, so there's that.
of course i'm proud. there have been plenty of times in his young life when i most certainly haven't been. a recent meltdown in the 20 people deep Bodo's line where he yanked and pulled on me so much my skirt came down comes to mind.
so i'll spare you the christmas letter and just take this moment to gloat. my kid has been easy to toilet train and is happy to go by himself to preschool camp alone for 3 hours. no poop issues, no tears, no long goodbyes. just a happy confident kid who can pee in a pot.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

growing up boys

tayloe took little t on his first ever fishing trip today. i thought the child was going to jump out of his skin he was so excited. he couldn't even sleep during his nap time. he helped his dad pack up the cooler with snacks and get his rod ready. he went and got his shoes, his hat and put on sunscreen so quickly and with so much joy i almost wondered if he was my child. off they went. tayloe didn't even take his rod so intent he was on showing little tayloe the ropes. it made me so happy and proud. even more so when he came home and told me he'd caught 2 bluegill. i asked t2 how big his was and he held his arms out as wide as he could. 'THIS BIG, MAMA!' for a kid that's been imaginary fishing for the last 8 months with anything that could remotely pass for a fishing pole, it was a total triumph.
thomas and i stayed home and had a rare afternoon just the two of us. we hung some things up in his room (9 months old and the only thing i ever got around to hanging was his mobile) then we read and sang and took pictures. since thomas didn't make regular practice of rolling over and hasn't even begun to show interest in crawling, there hasn't been much documentation of his major milestones. he's been sitting up now for about 2 months and while forward movement still seems a ways off, the kid can reach and stretch with the best of them. if he wants something beyond his grasp, he hurls himself toward it. if he misses, he takes a breath and bends, bends, bends as far as he can on the exhale. he gets lots of A+'s for effort.
looking at these pictures of tayloe makes me realize it's time to kiss the diapers goodbye. potty training hasn't really been on my radar since i bought one of those kiddie toilets last summer. it's probably because my pediatrician put it this way : you can potty train a boy at 2 1/2 and he'll be potty trained by 3. or you can just wait until he's 3. so i just put it out of my mind, knowing it'd get around to it eventually.
eventually starts on monday. everyone's home. we don't have any major plans to go anywhere.it gives me enough time to get to the bookstore and get some instructions on this type of thing. it's warm outside so a few pantsless days in the yard won't do any harm. plus he starts summer camp at his preschool in two weeks and they said they'd be more than happy to help.
perked ears. help did you say? was there ever a better motivational word?

Friday, May 22, 2009

for comparison sake

i just realized every picture i have to tayloe at this age (around 9 months) he's smiling huge. and every picture i've taken of thomas lately he has this 'whatchoo lookin at lady' look on his face. i'm wondering if that's because i took no less than 2 million pictures of tayloe a month and just saved all the smiley ones. my photos of thomas are mostly on my iphone.
the thing about telling the older brother that his job is to protect the younger brother is that the older brother takes the task pretty seriously. today thomas was on the floor and the puppies came tromping inside. before i could even think about it, tayloe ran screaming past me yelling 'NO NO NO PUPPIES' arms straight out in front of him, heading straight for thomas. 'I SAVE YOU' he yells as he plows into thomas, - lays him out flat. he's full-on smothering his brother yelling 'I SAVE YOU THOMAS. I SAVE YOU! SHOO PUPPIES, SHOO'
of course how could he have known he was hurting him? thomas's screams were so muffled he didn't even hear him. when i scolded him for being too rough he looked at me like i had 1,000 heads.
i know, kiddo. it's confusing.

kids and dogs

there isn't much difference really. both cute. both curious. both poop a lot.
so far so good with the puppies. they sleep outside, play outside, nap outside and mostly entertain each other. i'm a little afraid of how big johnny, the male, is going to be. he's such a lug right now he's nearly double the size of june. let's just hope he stays gentle and dumb.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

tayloe cal ripkin emery

mad skills. this is the same kid who was blocking soccer balls at 5 months. at the time that didn't seem weird, but now that i have thomas - our child who never rolled over and is perfectly content to sit and watch the world go by without moving a single limb (thus his nickname, 'love lump') - it seems prodigal.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


it's so weird how one day your kid is the way he has been for the last 6 months and the next day it's like your child was abducted and whoever did it left this complete stranger with a whole new rule book. the last 4 days or so, tayloe's had a burst of new words and along with it the inclination to ask why. at everything.
why do you put the milk in the fridge?
why do pretzels go here? why is the oven hot? why are you brushing my hair? why do you do this? why do you do that? what you doing now? why are you doing that?
i enjoy the curiosity, sure. and i'm happy to explain a thing or two when i know the answer. but ya gotta know i'm not a particularly chatty person. quiet doesn't make me uncomfortable. so this afternoon when i realized i'd been talking nonstop to a two year old for what felt like 100 years i felt an enormous amount of anxiety about how long this is going to last. especially because he's relentless. thomas is screaming and the phone is ringing and i'm clearly about to lose my #$it, but there he is - right at my heels looking for answers to life's larger questions. and not quietly or patiently, i might add.
i'll say that this new found chatter and the discovered ability to communicate beats the tantrums of the preverbal early twos, but only by a little bit.
thomas, meanwhile, is going through some kind of 8 month attachment thing. i can hardly put him down without him dissolving into a puddle of tears. it's the saddest thing you've ever seen.
so if you need me i'll be here. under a huge pile of laundry and dust with dishes piled up in the sink braving the t2 inquisition and with a little cherub clung to me like a staticky dark sock.

Monday, April 13, 2009


we went to greensboro last weekend for easter and had a spectacular time. it's so much fun to get kids really really excited about holidays.
we went to an egg hunt on saturday morning, dyed eggs saturday afternoon and tayloe, mom, dad and i spent most of saturday night pretending to call the easter bunny to tell him various things - like where to find the eggs and what to leave for us (jack daniels!). little tayloe would stand there watching us with huge eyes, nearly wiggling out of his skin with excitement. he'd grab the phone, kiss it and say, 'i wub ewe feaster bunny' and we'd all fall apart with laughter.
the hide and seek game of sunday morning was right up t2s alley and we spent most of the day hiding then looking for eggs.
on the way home today, i decided it was time to start the search for a new puppy. maybe it seems a little hasty, but thomas will be crawling soon (that's ambitious since he doesn't really even roll over ... let's just say eventually) and i'd really love to house train a puppy before that happens. i don't need a baby sloshing through pee puddles and well, other stuff.
plus i can't stand not having a dog around and it breaks my heart to see t2 outside throwing tennis balls to himself (and fetching them. i wish i was kidding.)
a quick scan of the classifieds and i found an ad for chocolate lab puppies, what we've been talking about getting, ready on mother's day. i called and the family that has them lives 3 minutes from our house. 11 chocolates! 3 minutes away! how's that for serendipity?
so we went by - you know, just to look. 10 minutes later we had picked the one we wanted - the biggest male in the lot (just what a i need, right? another dude) - and were handing over the duckets.
and that was that.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

wolly by golly

wolly died on sunday and i haven't been able to put it out of my mind. i feel really weird about seeing him dead, stroking his velvet soft ears, which were still warm, and then curling him up, putting him in the ground and shoveling dirt on him.
we put him behind our vegetable garden so when i'm out there he'll always be near. only every time i've gone out there this week i've had that image in my head - him curled up under all that red dirt clay. it isn't nightmarish. it's just weird.
i found this picture on my camera today. it was just a month ago, the beginning of march. that's w - staring at a tennis ball, so intense, waiting, waiting, waiting ...
wolls was my dog first - a hopelessly devoted nut job who could out fetch and outlast any other breathing being on the planet. if there wasn't a ball, he'd find a stick. if there wasn't a stick he'd find a twig. if there wasn't a twig, he'd find a piece of bark. if there wasn't bark he'd damn near try to get you to throw dirt for him. in a crowd of people he'd sniff out the biggest sucker, corner them with a ball and never ever leave them alone. he made sure that everyone noticed him and that no one ever forgot him.
then he was our dog - tayloe's and mine. we carted him all over the damn place - gave him a river to live by, tortured him with two more puppies, then kept him with us in our 500 sq foot apt in dc and then hauled him out to california and back again. he was never a 'go with the flow' kind of guy - in fact i always sensed that he hated change and in that way he was a kind of ying to our yang. but he was a gentleman, so he did the best he could.
our family grew and wolly - well, he adjusted.
most recently, he'd become little tayloe's dog. tayloe fed him. tayloe gave him a gazillion dog bones at my parents house. tayloe threw the ball for him. in return, wolly tolerated being locked in the bathroom, being drug around the yard by his collar, getting crashed with dump trucks or having buckets of stuff dumped on his head. most times when we went somewhere tayloe would ask if wolly could come too and he always included him in his prayers and list of people in our family (mommy, daddy, tayloe, thomas, wawe).
i'll tell you the truth. i was looking forward to wolly getting older. i knew that was when i'd get him back, when he'd either be too stubborn or too deaf to comply with tayloe's demands and instead be content to lay by my feet.
i always said in his previous life wolly was an accountant - some dude with a desk job whose zest for living had been zapped by florescent lights and microwave lunches.
in his dog life, he made up for all he'd missed. he had space and air, lakes and oceans and rivers. he had grass to roll in, dirt to dig in and tons and tons of balls to fetch. he had four strong, beautiful legs so he could run.
he had a family.
more than anything, he had love.

Friday, March 20, 2009


oh thomas. i could gush on you all day. my new favorite name for you is rosy cheek apple face. you're just luscious. if naming kids after fruit wasn't so queer i'd of done it.
so it's spring here and that makes me happy. we all love being outside. in fact, i'm starting to think little tayloe might be happier if we just put his bed in the chicken coop. i've never known a child to love dirt and mud so much. every single pair of pants he owns have mud stains on the knees. it's awesome.
tomorrow we're building raised beds for our vegetable garden, so today i ordered a load of dirt and compost. tayloe was so excited when he saw the truck pull up, he couldn't sleep for his nap.
that excited.
over. a. pile. of. dirt.
happy days.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

worst mom ever

and the mother most unprepared for snow but takes her kid out in it anyway award goes to ... me.
little tayloe has on one mitten that's a sock, rain boots and his coat is held together with paper clips because the zipper broke at least a month ago. even he knows it looks dorky because when i come at him with the clips i get a big 'AW MAMA, No please!' nice.
obviously i didn't really think it was going to snow or i would have gotten the kid some snow pants, snow boots and mittens. and certainly i would have fixed his coat.
i thought we were in the clear - it was 68 degrees last friday for god's sake.
we do have a really fantastic sled, however, thanks to his grandpop and miss jackie.
hey ... he wanted to go outside and play and i wasn't going to let a little thing like lack of clothing get in the way. and despite our makeshift snow outfit and it's obvious, um, shortcomings, it wasn't being cold that caused the meltdown. it was having to walk back up the hill and my refusal to pull him on the sled.
t, next year i'll do better. you and i and thomas and daddy will be sleigh riding, snowman building fools. and i'll take lots of pictures to redeem myself.
i promise.

Monday, March 02, 2009

6 months

there's just nothing better than a 6 mo old baby. i'm curious you all think he looks like. when little tayloe, thomas and i are out together, people often say they both favor me. i think thomas looks a lot like both tayloe and me. others think he looks way more like big tayloe. waddya think?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

i stink

well, time flies when you're havin fun doesn't it?
it kinda does.
thomas will be six months on sunday and he's already eating us out of house and home. i've never seen a child down so much food. i keep shoving it in and he keeps gulping it down. he's just about the happiest baby i've ever known.
today was one of the first times i really felt outnumbered. tayloe (2), thomas and i were sitting on the sofa reading before naptime. i'm reading 'cordoury' but tayloe isn't listening and is instead getting great amusement out of making his brother laugh. i ask him to stop and listen, but he doesn't so the two of them are giggling at each other and i'm sitting there reading a stupid book to the dog, who i doubt is listening either.
i gave up and just put them both to bed. as i tucked tayloe in he asked if baby thomas could sleep with him. a rare, tender act of brotherly love.
i'm so screwed.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

oh my

tayloe was midway through singing his abcs to thomas for the 10th time when i realized i should video tape it. he doesn't actually finish, but you get the point. (l m n & o are actually one letter, did you know that?).
you should see him do it all the way through . it's quite a performance.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


dear boys,
there's a chance you'll someday ask me what we did the day barack obama was inaugurated. there's a greater chance i'll tell you so many times over your lifetime without you asking you'll know so well what we did that you'll think you actually remember it.
just in case, though, i thought i'd write it down.
we skipped pbs for a day and went straight to cnn. we watched the crowds and excitement in dc for a while. you guys played and dad and i talked about how thankful we were that we got to spend saturday night in dc and share in the parties and excitement and stay at the amazing mayflower hotel.
daddy had to leave to catch a plane for LA so we kissed him goodbye and decided we should stay in our pjs and keep watching until the president spoke.
tayloe, you loved the band music and you instantly recognized 'rock bama' when you saw him. when george bush was leaving the white house, i said, 'there goes george bush' and you said 'mama, what's george bush doing?' i told you he was going home to texas and you said, 'ooohhh, bye bye george bush' which made me laugh a lot so you kept doing it over and over. i took a few pictures of you and thomas on the couch watching it all on tv.
when president obama took his oath, i cried. tayloe, you asked me what was wrong and i told you sometimes when people are very happy, they cry.
thomas you napped, drank milk, sat in my lap and chewed your fingers. i think you had a very nice time.
we all liked watching the helicopter take george bush away, though admittedly for different reasons.
after obama's inauguration speech, we turned off the tv, got dressed and went to the childrens museum. tayloe you had a great time playing with the trains and the ball machine. thomas you sat in the sling and took a little nap. afterwards we went to mcdonalds for cheeseburgers (i had a salad) and then because it was a special day and we wanted to end it on a sweet note we split a milkshake.
a chocolate one of course.

Friday, January 16, 2009

a boy in a dress

i'm too lazy to download my own photos, so i stole these from my sister in law mary's facebook page. thomas's christening last sunday was just beautiful. true to form, little tayloe stole the show. midway through, he decided that he did in fact want to join us at the baptismal font so he got up, walked up the aisle & up the steps dragging his blanket behind him. crowd slayer.
thomas found it all so riveting and great he fell asleep and stayed that way until tim patterson dabbled cold water on his forehead. then he cried.
thomas is 4 1/2 months old today. he's getting stronger and stronger. he drools a lot and loves his right index finger - he chews on it all the time. so i guess he's teething. he had his first rice cereal this week and i couldn't believe - COULDN'T BELIEVE - how he gobbled it up. he loves the stuff - opens his mouth as wide as he can when he sees the spoon coming. he's incredibly sweet and laid back. he sleeps from 7 until 530 or so in the morning and did it on his own - no sleep training, no cry it out, no nothing.
absolutely nothing bothers him and he's still so soft and downy and sweet. in the last month, he's started kreening to see t2 and responds with lots of smiles and coos to the sight of him or the sound of his voice.
i can't wait to watch him grow up, but i'm also a little sad that every day he leaves a little bit of infanthood behind him. i always thought it was a little cuckoo that mothers called their youngest children their babies well into adulthood, but now i get it. i sometimes wonder how on his wedding day i'm going to be able to just sit there and watch him pledge his love to some other woman without standing up and shouting, 'BUT THAT'S MY BABY!'
no. i won't be that mom. i just make a scene with all my weeping. and then i'll steal their first born.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


this is thomas' best, 'i don't know mom, am i cute? face.' sweet marshmallow, you're precious. and so's your bro.
oh january. the never-ending month of dreary cold gray blah. mucky murky dark dank january. luckily february is right around the corner. so we got that goin for us.
i guess it's fitting that we're knee-deep in control crazy twoness. to save ourselves, tayloe and i decided to step off most of the time because nothing will make you lulu like arguing with a two year old over who's going to let the dog out. there are maybe a handful of things we stand ground on and most of those relate to safety, personal space and sleeping and eating.
that's why when t2 started refusing to eat at the dinner table and telling us where he wanted his plate (oh no he didn't) and everything we said or did to change his attitude failed, we pulled out the big guns.
bribery. the cold, sweet ben & jerrys kind. oh the power i feel knowing there's a pint of willie nelson's peach cobbler in the freezer.
i'm not even sure tayloe got the concept of sweets and desserts until last month when i started running out of creative things to do on rainy days and resorted to baking. turns out, december had a lot of rainy days. we made a lot of cookies.
with the promise of dessert, he's peacefully eaten most of the food on his plate at the counter for four nights straight. to sweeten the deal, i got him a new truck placemat. tonight he was so full he didn't even finish his dessert.
i know it's not about winning and losing, it's about compromise and teaching and taking it all in stride and BLAH BLAH BLAH.
I WON. i love it when i win. i'm going to gloat. nah na nah na na nah. I WON I WON I WON I WON.
for now, at least.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

it was great

the holidays were awesome. the best two weeks ever. we ate great food, opened lots of presents, saw everyone we loved, spent tons of time together and laughed a lot. best of all we were in our very own home (with beautiful new windows).
and now, i'm ready for spring.