Wednesday, November 25, 2009


It's not hard for me to think of a hundred things I am thankful for this year.

I am mostly thankful for that.

Thanksgiving 2005 marked an ominous date for me. At the time pregnant with the little man, it was the date that my doctors said would be a miracle if I made it to. None of them were betting that I would be able to carry him much further than Thanksgiving. And while Thanksgiving was a better scenario than the one I faced just two months prior (the first time we were hospitalized), Thanksgiving was still much too soon.

Now, four years later, I stumbled into the little man's dark room this morning. I felt his arms around my neck and felt his head snuggle into my shoulder. It still felt just as good as the very first moment I held him and he snuggled his little newborn head against me.

I am thankful for my miracle.

I am thankful for another year of adventures in mommyhood and my awesome husband for sharing in each laugh and priceless moment along the way.

I am also thankful for my family, both immediate and extended; the older I get, the more I understand the true gift family is in our lives.

I am thankful for my friends, near and far, and all that they bring to my life.

I am thankful for my new baby niece, who is set to make her big debut any day now. I am thankful that my big brother and his amazing wife will soon feel the arms of their own child around their neck and the feeling of her soft head as she snuggles into their shoulder.

And I am thankful for you.

I began this blog at the suggestion of a dear friend of mine and fellow writer. It began as a way for me to expand my own writing horizons and branch out into a new style of writing for me. I had no idea that anyone would actually read it, and I had no idea that I would receive such amazing support in my blogging endeavors. Thank you for sharing in my adventures with me.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Introducing ...

One Saturday afternoon, we were out and about running our usual weekend errands. We ventured into one of the little man's favorite stores - Petsmart - for a quick trip to grab some food for our dog, Casper.

But there is no such thing as a "quick" trip into Petsmart with the little man in tow.

I had anticipated this, so while the husband broke off to find the dog food, the little man and I made the usual rounds of the store - starting with the reptiles, then on to the birds, then the hamsters and finally the wall of fish.

As we were looking at all of the brightly colored fish swimming about, something caught the little man's eye.

{Of course it didn't help that the tank was right at the little man's eye level.}

It was a tank of little red crabs. The little man's eyes lit up as he watched the little crabs meander about the tank.

"Look mommy!" he said. "They have snappy claws!"

The little man sat and watched the little crabs, giggling at their ever move. I glanced down at the bottom of the tank and saw that the little creatures also had a very small price tag.

Later that night at dinner, the little crabs were all that the little man could talk about. Since we already had Nemo and Dory, an idea came to mind.

And then I made the little man a deal.

"Hey, buddy," I said leaning across the table to him. "I'll make you a deal - if you practice spelling your name really, really hard and can spell your name without any help from mommy, then I'll buy you a crab."

The little man's eyes widened. His little mind immediately raced with all the letters of the alphabet. He knew how his name started, but was still a bit shy about spelling the entire name on command.

The next few days were spent going over and over the spelling of his name. It was a mere week later that he was spouting it out all on his own, any time someone asked him to do it.

It was time for mommy to pay up.

We loaded in the car and headed back to the pet store. The little man was bursting with excitement.

He even had his crab named ... Gigi.

He ran into the store. "Gigi, I'm comin'!" he squealed as he burst through the doors.

He immediately ran to the tank with the crabs. Finally, a man came and asked us if we needed help.

"Yes, we need a red crab," my husband said.

"OK, and you have a tank set up?" the man asked.

"Yes," we replied in unison.

"And it's one it can't crawl out of?" said the man.

"Yes," we again replied in unison.

"Great, and it has a place to crawl out of the water?" the man asked.

We stood in silence. The man could probably tell by the look on our faces that the answer was no.

"These little crabs can't stay submerged in the water, they need to be able to crawl out of it every once in a while," he said.

My husband and I looked at each other. Below us, just at our feet, was our son pointing out the very crab he wanted.

"Mommy's fired," my husband finally murmured.

We had anticipated putting the crab in our fish tank. We had not anticipated a whole other aquarium.

But we had already promised the little man.

We tried in vain to convince the little man that a snail or aquatic frog (both who could live harmoniously with our fish) were much more fun that Gigi the crab. But it was futile.

"No! They don't have snappy claws," the little man said with tears in his eyes, making little snappy crab claws out of his hands.

We were stuck. And neither of us had the heart to go back on our word to the little man.

So, we drew in a deep breath and called the pet store worker over once more.

"Yes, we need one of those red crabs."

{Fortunately, crab habitats also come with little price tags - my only saving grace from the wrath of the husband.}

And with that, the newest member of our family ventured home with us.

Gigi the Crab.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


We were all snuggled up in our beds asleep when suddenly the husband and I heard the little man scream from his room.

It wasn't the normal I just woke up and want mommy or daddy yell, it was a gut-wrenching, sobbing, something is very wrong scream.

My husband jumped out of bed and ran down the hall to see what was wrong. The little man was in his bed, sobbing. He was so upset he could barely catch his breath.

"What's wrong buddy?" my husband asked as he reached down to pick the little man up.

The little man was so upset we could barely make out the words.

Finally, the little man calmed down enough that he could tell daddy what was wrong.

He had a bad dream.

"Oh, buddy," my husband said. "Did you see a monster?"

"No," the little man whimpered.

"What was it then? What was so scary?" my husband asked.

The little man quietly began his story. His dream was vivid and terrifying.

"The ice cweeeam truck," he stammered out, his face still red with tears. "It wouldn't stop. It just kept dwiving away. And I wanted it to stop so I could get an ice cweeeam."

And with that, my husband gave the little man a hug and snuggled him back into bed.

"You dream about eating a great big ice cream cone," he said. "A really, really big one."

A few seconds later the little man was snoring away once more.

No doubt dreaming of gigantic ice cream cones.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Amen to That ...

As the little man and I were driving home in the cold, wet weather on Monday, we were having our usual chat about how his day went - what he did at preschool, who he played with, etc.

"Mommy?" Little man asked from the backseat. "What day is today?"

"Today is Monday," I told him. We had been working on learning the days of the week, so I was happy that he was showing some interest.

"Oh," he said quietly. "Momma, I don't like Monday."

"No?" I replied. "I don't like Monday's either, buddy."

"I like Halloween, Christmas, cake days and Friday," he said matter-of-factly.

I paused and went over the list in my mind.

"So ... you like Halloween, Christmas, cake days and Friday?" I asked.

"Yes, momma," little man said. "But those are a lot of days."

I smiled and turned the corner into our neighborhood.

"I like those days, too."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This year the little man made it very well known that he was a big boy.

And big boys took Halloween very seriously.

Another year older and wiser, the little man eagerly anticipated Halloween this year. For weeks leading up to the big day, all we heard about was how he was going to go trick-or-treating and get lots and lots of candy.

All the years prior, little man has enjoyed getting dressed up, but still somewhat confused when we would take him from house to house in his little red wagon. Sure, he liked getting candy, but was still thoroughly confused.

However, this year was different. He knew what Halloween meant.

And it meant lots and lots of candy.

And a very special costume.

Of course it didn't help any that he had three Halloweens: a Halloween party at his preschool, a family Halloween party at mommy's office and of course the real deal, which the little man affectionately refers to as "Dark Halloween" since he is allowed to venture out at night to get heaps of sugary goodness.

And this year he was very specific that he wanted to walk, rather than ride in his wagon, for that was for babies.

And he was a big boy.

{That is, until we made our way 3 blocks down and daddy had to carry both the little man and his overflowing bag of candy.}

But what should he be for Halloween?

That answer was easy this year ....

Happy Halloween from Our Little Fireman!

The Ghosts of Halloween Past ...

{Halloween 2008}

{Halloween 2007}

{Halloween 2006}

Monday, November 2, 2009


"I'm going to regret this."

The words ran through my mind as I took the pen and scribed my name on the sign-up sheet.

It had been a normal day for our family. As I was picking up the little man from preschool that evening the teacher had just finished taping the treat sign-up sheet for the school Halloween party to the door of his classroom.

We were the first ones to sign up, so the choice was ours.

"Look buddy, what do you want to bring to your party?" I asked the little man.

I began to go down the list one at a time out loud.


"No," little man quickly interjected.





"Sugar cookies?"

As I read the words aloud, I tried to stop myself, but it was too late.

"YEAH!" Little man exclaimed. "I wanna bring swugar coooookies!"

It was too late. I tried to talk him into something easier, but his mind was already made up.

"Are you sure you don't want to bring juice boxes?" I asked, trying in vain to make juice boxes sound exciting.

But the little man was on to me. And he was sure of his decision.

"Noooo mommmmmaaaa," he said. "I wanna bring swugar coooookies!"

His blue eyes looked up at me, pleading.

I sighed as I took the pen and put my name next to the sugar cookies category.

My history of making cut-out sugar cookies is not a good one and I was fearful of what I had just gotten myself in to.

But the smile that beamed across the little man's face as I signed us up for cookies gave my some courage to attempt a feat that I had only tried a few times before.

{With disastrous results.}

When I got home that night, I informed the husband of what I had just done. In a flash of instant relief I told him that I could just buy the take-apart sugar cookies at the store and bake them. I remembered I had just seen fun ones the weekend before that had cute ghost images in them.

"That's lame," he said, as my bubble of relief quickly burst. "We need to make cut-out cookies, that's way more fun."

I was stuck.

As the week drug on, the little man asked each day if it was time to make sugar cookies. Even while laying on the couch, fever raging and fighting the flu, he asked me nearly every day if today was sugar cookie day.

A few days before the party little man's fever finally broke and he was on the mend (although mommy was still fighting a particularly nasty bought of bronchitis). I took sugar cookie dough from the refrigerator, got out the menagerie of cookie cutters, icing and decorative tips and took a deep, deep breath.

After a few tries and a bought of high frustration, I quickly learned that there was definitely someone looking over me as I lifted my first successful ghost cut-out and placed it on the cookie sheet.

Now, only 39 more to go.

One by one the little man and I rolled out the dough and made an assortment of bats, ghosts and pumpkins. While some definitely came out better than others, I had at least enough recognizable cookies for the little man's Halloween party.

With my kitchen covered in cookie dough, frosting and sprinkles, I looked over my successful mound of cut-out cookies.

Victory was mine.

And as we walked into the preschool the next morning carrying our cookies, the little man proudly exclaimed to everyone that we had brought cookies for the party.

And that he had made them.

As I walked out the door I smiled to myself, thinking of how proud the little man was of his cookies.

And I reminded myself that next year, we are so signing up for apples.