to your mother


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Here's Five People

Cell phone pics circa 2015...

 Julie wearing her birthday dress February 25, 2015...aaaaaaaaaand she did her own hair.

This lilput got her ears "piered" for her 6th birthday. I had to wait till I was 10 and had to keep my room clean for a YEAR (Mom said that would show that I wouldn't loose my earrings. Being a mother now, I realize this was probably a ploy to NEVER allow holes to get poked in her precious baby's ears but alas, I am just as stubborn as she and that blasted room was clean for a year, People)  before Mom would allow me to get the holes poked in my ears. She actually took me to our family doctor to have HIM pierce my ears rather than the teenager at the kiosk in the mall. Well, Dr. Karesh, who quickly diagnosed Paul with leukemia and literally aided in saving Paul's life, was not so hot at piercing wee little ears. When I wear studs, the earrings poke out to the side rather rather than straight ahead. Eh, I'm over it. When I came back after my freshman year of college with a SECOND hole poked in my ear, Mom stomped out of my room muttering "You will NEVER get a job with all those holes in your ears". I am here to tell you, the first principal who hired me had three holes spreading up each ear SO THERE MOM. But I digress, this picture is about MY precious baby's ears. And I'm over that stuff, right? Julie was soooooooo excited to get her ears "piered" I thought I might poke out my own eye from the whining and fit-throwing month after month after  month we just couldn't wait any longer. She chose pearls because she wanted to be like Grandma Mac. The piercing technician (I just made that title up) told Julie it was a classic choice, you can dress pearls up or down. How did this tech know my girl so well? Anyway, Julie was brave, Joseph was scared, she almost didn't get the second ear done but we got er done. Note: the girl NEVER changes her earrings so loosing them in her trashed room isn't an issue. BOOM. Me? I rarely wear earrings and never in the second hole. Interesting.

Sick day spring 2015. Both kids sleeping on the couch under the blankets made for then by Grandmama Nuhf when they were born. These blankets have brought much comfort to the kids over the years (thanks Mama Nuhf). If you look closely Joe's feet are actually TOUCHING Julie as they are on the couch. This only happened because Julie was comatose otherwise ALL HECK WOULD BE BREAKING LOOSE.

Where do I start? St. Patrick's Day 2015. Dress made by Mom for RJ (Rachel Jean) perhaps 2005. Skirt/head covering made by Teresa circa perhaps 2014? This is breakfast before school...and that's all I have to say about that.

Oh my word. Summer 2015. Joseph learned how to use his wee lil armpit to make an exhilarating sound. I can not get mad at him for making this sound. Ever. Do you see the incredible joy on this boy's face? How can I deny him that joy? Although Julie doesn't like the jester.  "THAT'S RUUUUUUDE" she will scream at the top of her lungs. Then I calmly say "Julie, dear, it's RUUUUUUDE to yell at your brother. Joseph, some people find that noise to be RUUUUUUDE. If you want to keep making that noise, please do it in your room." (Perhaps mocking her attitude is scarring her, in 20 years I'll let you know what her therapist says.)  Joe usually complies with a huge smile as he stops riiiiiight outside his bedroom door and rips one last juicy one from that wee lil pit of his as he runs into the room. Julie screams "JOSEPH!" in her best playground-teacher voice as I giggle under my breath. It just brings him so much joy, I mean look at that face.

This week's cell phone pics are brought to you by CAPITAL LETTERS. I used them a lot in this post, must be a CAPITAL LETTER sort of day so WATCH OUT PEOPLE.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Who Cares What Day It is, You People Love This Stuff

Another post filled with old-school cell phone pics...have at it.

On the way to Joseph's indoor soccer game this winter, there was super wicked weird weather and then here's the double rainbow. If you look closely that's a church at the end of the bright rainbow. My intentions were to print the picture and drop it off at the church. Never did. And that's okay.

 Snowmagoodnessthatsalotofsnow 2016. I believe our neck of the woods received round 3 feet? Felt like 4 yeeeeears of snow. Kids had fun AND they are old enough to shlep ON their snow gear, shlep OFF their snow gear AND put it all in the dryer (yes Colleen, without washing it first, THAT'S how I roll).

 Swimming off the dock down the street from Grandma Mac's house, summer 2015. These monkeys love themselves some water, be it a bay, a pool, a sprinkler, a mud puddle...these fishies will be in it. Reminds me when Joe was about 2 we lived in a townhouse community. I walked the kids to the playground after the area received a lot of rain. Joe had his rain boots on, splashing in small puddles along the paved path as I pushed Julie in the stroller. We came up to the common area where lots of people seemed to be mingling enjoying the sunshine after all that rain. I distinctly remember a father holding his skinny-legged daughter on his hip. He was pointing to this huge, long puddle and talking to her. She just kept shaking her head to whatever words her father was saying. I lost track of Joe as I was observing the two. Next thing I know, I leave the stroller behind as I run in slow motion, hands held out in front of me and I'm yelling "noooooooooooooooooooo" as Joe literally does a swan dive - arms out-stretched, chin held up - into the huge, long puddle in front of the father and daughter. Joe looked around, kind-of surprised with himself, then proceeded to splash his limbs around, belly down, in a way that might tell someone watching "I meant to do that". Many people gasped, laughed, pointed, shook their heads. Well, that father with the skinny-legged daughter on his hip laughed a belly laugh, turning to his shocked horrified daughter, saying in a language that I don't understand something like "Look at him! He loves the water!" She buried her head in Dad's shoulder. Dad looked at me as he dangled his daughter over the puddle (Joe still "swimming" in it). Her legging-covered toothpick legs jerked up to her belly, like a frog. He took her away from the puddle, her legs relaxed. He did this a few more times - leg retract, legs relax - making eye contact with me as if to say "she can't stand the water" in this universal language of frog reactions. That Dad and I laughed a bit...then I marched that boy home. He didn't care about missing the playground, to the delight of many, most of all him, he got to SWIM that day.

We rented our last apartment from some delightful people (shout out to! At some point early on, Wendy presented Joseph and Julie with their first-ever packs of Hubba Bubba bubble gum. Don't get me wrong, these jokers had had gum before but never anything with which you could actually blow a bubble. Well. On that day our lives changed for the better (in more ways than one but I'll only discuss the mega gum extravaganza here). These buster browns worked and blew and chewed and blew and cried and blew and voila! Joe's first blown bubble. Since then they have both become experts, if I do say so myself, so proud. So happy that a small gift from Wendy will always remind me of the joy on this boy's were a part of his first bubble, Sister. Thanks Wendy.

Oh my word. I have never looked at the Radonworx website...look at you all! My People! My landlords! Johnny? Why so serious? Wendy, you are stunningly gorgeous in such a way that no one would believe how well you can handle, well, THOSE people in such a I-won't-take-that-stuff-you-are-trying-to-pull-on-me way. Pops! What a Dapper Dan you clean up to be! Three amazingly giving, thoughtful, understanding, funny and good-natured people. Seeing you all brings a smile to my face. Okay. On with this show.

Oh my. Isn't she sweet? On the wagon ride at Christmas on the Square in Leonardtown circa 2015? A McAloon holiday tradition that started, well, around when the first grandchild/nephew could support his own head, perhaps 10 years ago? Look at that smile, People. Look at the joy. Well. Mike's sister Karyn texted me this pic to show me how happy Julie was because at some point in the few hours before Christmas on the Square...well, Julie did not look like this. She was miserable. Crying, ranting, hitting, puddle-on-the-floor raging over, well, I don't recollect why it happened that time. Perhaps other extended family members do because this almost-everyday-experience-in-parenting-hell was not the norm for them. Me? Just another day in paradise. Anyway, I was delighted to see a smile on my lil-bit's a I sat on the warm couch...while Aunt Karyn and Auntie Lisa braved the December cold on the square in I could have some peace on my Earth. Thanks Sisters.

We were playing on the sandy-beachy spot down the street from Grandma Mac (perhaps fall 2015)  when a couple came walking their grand-dog. This feisty guy was kicking up the sand and spinning around...just like Julie likes to do...these two really hit it off playing with each other. Julie would flick sand up between her legs and the dog would do the same. The dog would race around and sliiiiide into the sand and Julie would do the same. The ?dogma? asked if she could take a picture of the two of them playing, I asked her to text it to me. Pure joy, People.

Let us find some joy today, People.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why Not, It's Wednesday?

Life just keeps happening at full speed around here. Anyway, here's Five on Friday pics on Wednesday...

 Myron and Maxine love to get the kiddos little goodies throughout the year. If we don't see them for a holiday, Maxine is for sure going to drop something in the mail to brighten their day. Such as Valentine's day 2015...this is what Joseph chose to do when I said "Let's take a picture to send to MaMa and PaPa to let them know how much you love their present". I love how the white stitching on Darth Vader's mask resembles the gappy-toothed mouth of Joe.

 This is at the Mt. Airy fireman's carnival circa summer 2015. The Super Shot is one of those "rides" that gently carries you straight up then plunges you down suddenly, as if a major cable broke in an epic carnival ride malfunction, then suddenly slows down to place you gently back on the platform. This pic was taken on the way up...Julie, the second child at 6 years old here, smiles excitedly at the thrill of what is to come...Joe, the first child who, at 7 years old here, is apprehensive. Kind of like the bravery Julie had around that time when Joe was too scared to go in the basement by himself and Julie took his hand saying "Come on Joe, I'll make it okay for you."

This was posted in a hospital last summer. Love the thought of this.

A dear friend of mine shares the same demons I do. As an act of cleansing, she wrote these words in the sand and watched as the waves steadily washed the demons away. She took a picture at each point in the process and texted them to me. Very powerful stuff, People.

These two crazy kids? When she texted this picture of them? My heart swelled with joy, I was rendered speechless at the joy radiating through the cell lines...or air waves...okay whatever don't loose the moment here, take my word for it these cool cats are a great couple.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Five on Friday

Well, it's really Saturday, but for most people it's a three day weekend, so today could be a goes...

This is Julie and I waiting for the bus spring 2015.

While waiting for the kids to get off the bus, I was texting with Emily and I couldn't spell diarhhia. I still can't spell diarehhia. Emily taught me a trick on how to spell diahrehia. I just thought I was sooooo funny, I got the giggles. I took this picture and sent it to Emily cause I was laughing so hard. Spelling diarhea still brings a smile to my face. Diaharhhia. Diarehha. Diarrehia. I know there is an h in there somewhere.

Julie and Sierra were never in the same dance class, but both danced for the same dance company. During the dress rehearsals for the spring recital, Emily and I would take pictures of the girls while saying "Dance Moms season 2" and laugh about it because we are the extreme opposite of dance moms. Julie decided to take gymnastics this past year so, alas, Dance Moms starring Peggy and Emily was cancelled after season 2 due to lack of interest in, well, dance.

Last day of school for the kids 2015.

For Christmas 2015 Uncle Paul and Naomi got Joe a bubble blower that attaches to the back of his bike. The photo is kind of grainy on my computer screen but on my 20 year old phone you could see the bubbles flowing out behind him. Joe loves loves loves this bubble blower, still uses it today. He loves to ride in front of others yelling "go through my BUBBLES!" Reminds me of back in the day when I drove a truck for mosquito control. First day on the job, sitting in the truck next to the guy who was to train me, we hadn't even left the parking lot and his first instruction was "never drive through your own cloud". This worldly advice has come in handy for me many times since then.