to your mother


Monday, December 21, 2009

Joyous Joy

And he brought me coffee...dreamy...nuff said!


Babies sleeping, wrapping presents, checking blogs and email, babies still sleeping...I hear his keys in the door, gotta go, my man's home early.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Conversation With Mom

The kids were occupied (who said that a little video now and then is so bad...I make sure to have a fruitful discussion afterwards, usually purporting upon plot, theme, setting and character development, but that conversation is for another post.) so I decided to give Mom a call. I have come to realize that it is okay to call Mom and tell her I'm having a low week. She used to send me crazy earrings when she knew I was feeling low, with a note attached saying "Wear these to make yourself (and others) smile!" Although Mom doesn't send me earring anymore (thank goodness), she still can lift my spirits with a laugh.

So, I call Mom. She said "Ellow?" after Dad gave her the phone. I explained that I have been feeling low and have not felt like calling. She replied "Ohhhh ohhhh ohhhh. Baby ohhhh ohhh. One one one one baby boy. I know." She always seems to make me laugh with the little "I know" (said quickly) she adds to the end of her thoughts. Well, I laughed and she laughed and I felt much better. I went on to tell her about my adventures raising two kiddos; and the visit we had with Uncle Paul and Second Cousin Katie, memories that we had shared during that visit about Mom's sister Katherine and general news from the family in the Roanoke area. Mom shed some tears, which is difficult for me over the phone and I'm sure difficult for Dad on his end, but I think it's good for Mom to share and express some feelings even if it makes life a little difficult for the rest of us.

Mom went on to play 20 questions with me so I could figure out some last minute items she wants me to pick up to finalize her holiday shopping. We plan to go up with the kids and Uncle Paul on Christmas Eve to spend the day at Mom and Dad's feasting (menu TBD), exchanging gifts, and celebrating another joyous year spent together, loving and supporting each other.

Hope your holidays are peaceful, healthy and filled with joy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day in the Life

In no particular order...Joe got a hold of the camera...his abstract photos are throughout this post...
computer desk

Joe with his train, yes around the homey.

Just when I thought she was thinning out...

self portrait

Mama's leg

Joe squishing play dough, Julie jonesin' for a bite.

I wanted to get a picture of Joe with his shirt today. Note the look on his face when I asked him to show me his if to say, "Come on, Woman, can't you see I'm trying to play dough?"

Joe wanted to take our picture.

Last week I wanted to clean out the ice cube tray. My thought process...I believe we pay for the water that goes down our drain and didn't want to pay to get rid of ice. A pair of gloves, a woolly hat and one deck later, we have a hands-on preschool experience...a little boy's dream.

Julie this A.M. after her strawberry bar. I tried to get a picture of her crying today (something different) and wasn't able to capture it on film.

Last week, Joe did some drawing. He then pointed to it and said "Doggie!" so I labeled it. He then pointed and said "Eyes!" and I labeled that. Later in the evening, Joe was showing his artwork to Mike and said "Doggie! Eyes!" How about that, a two year old retelling his "story". I'm a proud early-childhood-education-Mama!

Joe has recently started building and playing with toys appropriately (rather than throwing, chewing or kicking them). Here he is in action, building a garage for his cars. (When he finished, he promptly kicked it into a block/car-frenzied mess. No worries, he's still Joe.)

I almost deleted this picture from the ice play because Joe had a demented look on his face. I cropped it and like it.
Not much else going on here, except Joe continues to call "MAMA" through the monitor...I have no fear, maybe he will pass out soon...

Friday, December 4, 2009

This N That and Skunks For Christmas

This is a cat in our neighborhood. Note that when her two front paws are touching, it makes a heart. Somehow seeing this cat makes me feel like we are suppose to be living here.

Joe and Julie helped me unpack the kitchen.

I was sitting in this position, talking on the phone. Awhile after I got up, I caught Mr. Monkey-See doing his thing.

Mom made this hat for Rachel. So cute on this cutie patootie!

We live near BWI Airport. Joe never tires of pointing out da planes.

Joe loves to help Daddy keep a fire going. Please no comments on how Joe is going to burn the house down, I'm stressed enough.

Julie enjoys standing around the house.

Julie's first mouthful with her own spoon.

Christmas jammies...eating and happy!

Julie looks good in black and white!

More black and white cute!

Mama and Julie self-portrait...kisses!
Mom heard some scratching-around the other evening and let Dad know about it. The next A.M., Dad discovered what he thought to be three skunks in the window well under their bedroom window. After calling some friends, Dad got in contact with the "Skunk Man" and after a short one day wait (and discovering it was actually only two had a double stripe down it's that the name of a cigarette?), Mom and Dad are skunk free. When I asked Mom if she had asked for a skunk from Santa, she laughed out load and said "No Way!"
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

There is much for which we can be thankful...most of all laughter.

Joe is ready to drive to Grandma and Grandpa Loyd's!
Hydration + movies + snacks = a happy Joe in the van

We, along with Paul, gathered at Mom and Dad's home today to celebrate Thanksgiving Loyd-style. Turkey (just the breast, who can eat all those leftovers? Dad only asked me twice if it had bones...yes it did), stuffing (Mom's recipe - lots-o-butter - yum), corn pudding (Mom's recipe - it separated but we squished it together on our plates and ate it anyway), cranberry jelly (the only thing from the "feast", as Joe called it, that Joe ate), gravy (no lumps and Dad went back for seconds - a winner), mashed potatoes (Paul peeled and cut those bad boys - thank you), and rolls (from the freezer section...inferior to Mom's but I'm too scared to try her recipe - I may try it out for Christmas). Oh, and who could forget the green bean casserole (did Campbell soup come up with that one? Everyone at the food store was buying up those ingredients). Oh, and layered pumpkin pie (with whipped cream cheese, alright? YUM! But I wouldn't know just how yummy cause I forgot to serve it and Paul reminded me of it as we were ready to walk out the door. I had already gotten Joe into the idea of giving hugs and high-fives so we could leave so there was no way we were going to stay...I think it was Paul's idea all along not to share it. After seeing Joe wolf-down that cranberry jelly, Uncle Paul may have been afraid that he wouldn't get more than a sliver from the sweet-tooth nephew.)

Okay, enough about food...things that made Mom laugh:

This is a dress that Mom made for Rachel years ago that has been passed on to Julie. Mom was thrilled to see Julie in the dress...then had a hearty laugh when she noticed it was on backwards (Mike dressed the wee one this a.m.)

I prepped some of the food at home and it traveled in diaper boxes, great for storing or moving anything...let me know if you need any...we've got lots to share.

Julie ate before we did. Mom likes it when Julie picks up a small morsel of food, attempts to place it in her mouth, then ends up sucking her thumb. Mom laughs even harder as I pull the thumb out saying "No thumbs when we eat"...then I get a big grin, then the thumb goes back in.

After a frenzy of food flying from pots and pans, into the oven, out of the oven, onto the counter (Dad likes buffet-style, then you don't have to pass anything...he's no dummy) and onto our plates, we relaxed to eat. YUM YUM SUPER YUM! Mom smiled. After many years of this food-frenzy holiday, Mom didn't have to cook.

It was a relaxing meal because Joe was watching a show. Thanksgivings to the Disney channel.

Paul cleaned up. Mom smiled. After how many years of clean-up, she didn't have to.

Mom relaxed after the yummy meal by stretching her tootsies and watching Joe attempt to fill her shoes (see the brace?). Note Mom's Christmas socks...she's still a crazy-sock-wearin' least this pair matches.

No one can fill Mom's shoes when it comes to putting a special meal on the table...but with some stained recipe cards and a lot of love, I beleive we came in a pretty close second.

Many blessing to you and yours this Thanksgiving! Take some time out from the feeding frenzy to appreciate the blessings in your life, no matter how small they may seem.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This panic attack brought to you by The Mall in Columbia

Scene: Townhouse in Columbia where two newbies to the area live

Peggy "We need to get a nice picture of the kids."

Mike "Hey, lets go to the Mall on Sunday and take a picture of them on the carousel."

Peggy "Perfect!"

Scene changes to the parking lot at the Mall, Sunday afternoon

Peggy "Good golly, people are parking everywhere!"

Mike drives

Peggy "I think the carousel is near out for that kid!"

Pan to kid jumping over a statue and almost clamoring into the parking lot where Mike is driving.

Mike "Maybe we should come back on a week-night."

Peggy "Sounds good...look out for that car!"

Pan to a car, driving on the wrong side of the parking lot street and almost side-swiping our van.

Mike "I really need to pay attention to get out of here...where did we come in?"

Peggy "I don't know...let me look at the directions."

Needless to say, we came home to a nice dinner on the deck.

Be proud of who you are

We were getting ready to walk to the playground today (gorgeous 70 degree weather!) and Joe decided to wear a hat. How cute is that, right? (Halloween-costume-hat worn backwards...thanks Michele!) Well, real cute until we arrive a the playground only to receive stares from other parents as if to say "Who let you out of the house like that?" I almost encouraged Joe to take it off, then stopped myself. Shouldn't I be teaching my son to feel confident about the choices he makes, regardless of how others may judge him? As long as he is not hurting himself or others (physically, spiritually, socially) Joe should be able to don any hat he chooses and wear it with pride. I finally got a smile out of one mom, I smiled back, shrugging my shoulders and said "Just expressing some Independence" and she replied "Hey, I love your hat!" Props to that Mama at the playground who embraces thinking outside of the sandbox.
On the way home, Joe decide to walk his lawnmower (keeps him focused on the walking part of going for a walk) through a large, 1 inch puddle. How cute, right? And I'm such a great Mama, not yelling or anything, allowing my son to experience life, get a little wet. All fun and games until he decided to take a belly flop dive (I am not joking) face down into the puddle. Joe received many laughs, a couple of gasps and a comment from one couple..."Gosh, our daughter won't even put her feet down if the ground is dirty," as they showed us how she scrunches her legs like a frog to ensure her crisp pink shoes didn't touch the pavement. Joe actually understood that diving into the puddle meant we had to go home instead of see the ducks because little boys who are wet from head to toe have to head straight home. He didn't care and proudly pushed his mower home, squishing his shoes the whole way.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Speaking with my dear friend Don today, I explained that I feel lost, don't know if I want my life to be this way (my life is very blessed today, this is depression speaking) and on and on. Joe snuggled up next to me, wrapped his arms around my waist and said in his little Joe voice, "k"...patted my back then went off to knock over some if to say "You're okay Mama, now move on". Amazing how a higher power can speak to me through my child. (And I need to watch what I say around the little man, his comprehension is impressive!)

Off my butt

Okay, I have been documenting my family's experiences since Mom had a stroke just over three years ago. I write an incredibly long message, then email it to two different groups to get the word out about Mom's progress. When I first started, many people said I should start a blog. Being the archaic granny that I am (I'm now 38 but was an older 35 at the time...), I didn't want to delve into that unknown and the way I was doing it was just fine with me. Many more people have mentioned that I should write a book about our family experiences throughout Mom's recovery from the stroke. That scares the junk out of do I start? Then who do I give it to? Then who pays for what? Maybe Oprah will hear about our story and have Mom and I on the show to talk about our experience and help me publish a book. Well, nothing is going to happen until I get off my butt and do something. So I'm starting this blog to help get some juices flowing. It will include updates about Mom, but we may find that I'm writing more junk about my adventures with a 2 year old and 9 month old...all those stories make Mom laugh...we shall see.