Friday, June 29, 2007


This has been a crazy week, and tonight is really the first time I've had a few minutes to post anything. Work has been keeping me up late, plus I haven't had a good night's sleep in awhile (due to work and R). I'm exhausted, and I'm really looking forward to not having to do work for a couple of days. (On a positive note, I had to give a half-hour-long presentation in front of my entire company on Thursday, and it went great!!)

Tomorrow, we're meeting up wtih friends to launch model rockets again. A found a much closer field than the last one (it's about 5 minutes from our house!), and A's old roommate who co-founded their rocket club with him years ago is in town visiting from CA. R is beside himself with excitement and, when I told him that he had to get a good night's sleep because we're going to do rockets tomorrow, he announced, "I like sleeping!" Well, that's news to me, but sounds good!

Oh! I have to share the cutest thing R said this morning. We were playing with the Memory Game, and I was laying out the cards on the floor in a way so that the matching cards wouldn't all be next to each other. R said, "Hey, it looks like a G!" And I looked, and it did look like the letter G. Then, he said, "It's a G made of memories!" :-)

I was also amazed by his skill with the game - he made matches when even I couldn't remember where the match was!

Good news! I start my new work schedule on July 1st (well, 2nd actually). I'm going to be taking every other Thursday off. It's not much, but it's a start. I'm really excited about it, and I'm hoping it will make for a better me all around: I'll have more time with R (= better mom), and I'll be slightly less stressed out at work (or so I hope!). I'm even thinking that I can go out once in awhile with, dare I say it, friends! I feel too guilty now to do that since I have so little time with R compared to how much time he spends alone with A and at school. Anyway, we'll see how it goes, but I really feel like it's an answer to prayer.

I need some good books to read! I've been reading lots of devotionals and collections of sermons, which I really do enjoy, but I need something I can read for a few hours at a time - or at least half an hour at a time for my subway rides. :-) I don't like to do that with the sermons because I feel like I need to focus on one at a time and absorb it.

I'm also in the mood to shop. This is an extremely rare occurrence. Normally, I HATE shopping, especially for clothes (which, if you know me, explains my pitiful wardrobe). Mostly, I think it's because I hate to waste money, and I convince myself that I don't need new clothes - even when none of my existing clothes fit me. I have no problem buying things for R and A or anyone else, but I'm much stingier when it comes to anything for me. But, when I do get the urge, it's usually dangerous because I end up spending way too much money. But I guess if I only buy clothes once a year (or less), it evens out. Mostly, I have the urge because I only have three pairs of pants that are appropriate for work, and now I'm going to be going into the office four days a week. But I could also use some summer clothes.

Whew - what an exciting post, huh? Okay, I'll spare you any more of my babbling for tonight. Tomorrow, I'll have pictures to post from our rocket excursion!

Friday, June 22, 2007


Last night reminded me why I love being a parent.

R had had a very exciting day: he and A went on a field trip with R's school to the Aquarium and had a great time, especially seeing the penguins and getting to ride on a school bus. Later, they followed a bunch of fire trucks to a house that had been hit by lightning in our neighborhood. They went to the library to check out some new books, and then they went to watch the commuter trains go by before coming to pick me up at the T station. (It was a stellar day for vehicles!) All of this excitement meant that R missed his nap.

When I got home, R was nutty and silly. He climbed all over me, and pinned me down to the floor so he could make raspberries on my cheeks. With a very concerned look on his face, he kept asking me if I was feeling better (I've been battling some kind of stomach thing this week). We had dinner, bathtime, and then headed upstairs for stories and bedtime.

I read him two stories, and he was about to nod off on my lap. But then we heard thunder and saw a few big flashes. So I took him downstairs to my office. We opened the blinds all the way, turned off the light, shut the door, and sat on the floor to watch the "show." The first lightning we saw was a huge, jagged fork. R was thrilled (and I was, too)! A came in to join us, and the three of us snuggled on the floor, listening to the pouring rain and thunderclaps, and watching the lightning through both windows. R was stretched out on my lap with his head resting on my chest.

When things calmed down a little bit, I took him back upstairs, opened his bedroom shade, and we laid down on his bed to watch the rest of the storm and go to sleep.

It was amazing. Just being together, all snuggled up, and being thrilled at the wonder of God's world. I love that R isn't afraid of thunderstorms and gets as excited as we do by them. And, I thank God for moments like that of inexpressible joy.

P.S. I am totally on board with the no-nap thing now. R fell asleep by 9:30, slept through until 5:30, fell back asleep when I came in to soothe him, and then I had to WAKE HIM UP at 8:15 so he wouldn't be too late for school. I was actually able to take a shower and do my devotions without interruption! Unbelievable! So, thank you, Lord, for that as well!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A few days late

I didn't want to let Father's Day slip completely by without writing something about A. He really is the most incredible father and husband, and I don't know what I'd do without him.

A is the most patient person I've ever met. He's a kind and thoughtful friend and people are drawn to him everywhere we go. He's the kind of person that people just trust right away. Strangers walk up to him and ask for his help constantly or tell him their life story. And he listens and helps. He's an excellent teacher because he has a very calm, easy-going manner. But he's not a pushover. He's strong and smart and holds his own.

He's incredibly talented and always has lots of creative ideas and projects whirling around in his head. He went to culinary school and is a fantastic chef (he chose not to enter the restaurant business, so he just does all the cooking at our house). He's currently developing his skills at fine chocolate-making. He collects ancient Roman coins and loves to study Roman and Greek history - and astronomy. He makes jewelry, binds his own books by hand, and started a model rocket club with his friends. He loves music (that's how we met), plays the guitar, and has a great singing voice (although he doesn't use it much). He enjoys good food and good wine. Give him a big hunk of aged cheese, some hard salami, a bottle of a strong red wine, and a loaf of bread, and you'll make him happy for days.

All of these qualities and more help make him the father and husband that he is, and why I love him so much. This former bachelor who used to live with a bunch of his friends and go out nearly every night to hear rock, ska, and reggae bands is now a part-time stay-at-home-dad.

From the day R was born, A took on half the work. He never once balked at changing diapers, cleaning up spit-up and drool, getting up in the middle of the night before R had a good sleep schedule.

He takes such good care of R, and his patient, calm nature has been a huge part of why R was such an easy-going baby and now boy. I know staying home with R when he was a baby was a hard transition for A, but he made it work. He and R do so many fun things together - riding the subway, going to museums/playgrounds/parks/the library. A even makes grocery shopping fun for R. They have their routine on the days they are together, and it works really well for both of them.

Now, they spend time taking things apart (like flashlights), flying kites, launching rockets, building marble mazes, and just talking. I always tell R how lucky he is to have a daddy who spends so much time with him because A and I didn't have that when we were growing up. And, most important, A tells and shows R how much he loves him.

I'm so thankful for the two "boys" in my life: for A, who is the most wonderful man I've ever met and who has carried that through as a husband and father, and for R, who is turning out to be just like his dad (with a little of me mixed in). :-)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Wild kingdom!

It's amazing to me the effect that my birdbath and my tiny flower garden has had on the amount of activity in our backyard. When we first moved into our house in 2003, the only birds we saw were sparrows, starlings, pigeons, and crows, which is pretty normal for this close to the city.

This year, we've got robins, blue jays, mockingbirds, cardinals, blackbirds, chickadees, and now - an ORIOLE! I couldn't believe it! I've only seen two orioles ever in Massachusetts in my life, and on Saturday morning, one was drinking from my birdbath. We spotted her (I think) two more times during the weekend. We also watched a heron fly overhead on Saturday afternoon! I wish I had pictures. I'll have to set up a camera and leave it pointed at my birdbath.

I've noticed more butterflies as well - in number and kind. We get a lot of the "plain" white ones, but now we're starting to see other colors, too.

I'm creating my own little wildlife sanctuary in my teeny backyard! :-)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Happy weekend

I started gathering my thoughts to write a nice Father's Day post for A, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow night. I'm too exhausted to do it tonight. It's been a long week. Last night, I fell asleep on the couch at 9:15, went up to comfort R at 12:30, woke up in his room at 3 a.m. and came downstairs to wash up and get some water, tripped on the stairs and hurt my knees and pulled a muscle in my back on my way back to bed, collected a crying R and brought him to our bed at 5 a.m., and then laid awake until my alarm went off at 6:20. I am really looking forward to naptime on Saturday. :-)

Hmmm, that is if there is a naptime tomorrow. In the morning, we have tickets to A Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine at Edaville Railroad. We went twice last summer, and it was a lot of fun. The park has lots of kiddie rides, including a huge carousel and a space capsule ride, besides the real steam engine that you get to ride around the grounds. There's also a decent BBQ joint down the street where we might go for lunch. So, R will probably take his nap in the car on the way home.

Tomorrow afternoon, A has his monthly coin club meeting, so R and I will have the afternoon and evening for some Mommy-R time. Yay! I think we'll make something for A for Father's Day, but other than that I'm not sure yet.

We got R's progress report from school today. He's doing great in all areas - self-esteem, imaginative play, sharing, physical development, recognizing letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc. - but there was one comment from his teachers that they are working with R on his "listening skills." Oh boy. We're trying to work on that, too. A was actually worried for awhile that R had a hearing problem because he either ignores us completely or asks "What?" after everything we say. It's infuriating. The thing is, if you ask R what we just said to him, he repeats it back word for word. (And if you whisper something about ice cream, he immediately responds.) I'm not happy about it because it seems to go hand in hand with R being defiant and disrespectful (e.g., tonight when I asked him to put something away, he yelled at me, "NO WAY! I am NOT going to do it!" Oooh, I almost lost it.). So A and I have to team up to hopefully put a stop to this. (For the record, I kept at him tonight until he did put the object in question away.) Overall, R is a very sweet, thoughtful, caring boy. I just want to keep it that way!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A few hours

Once in awhile, I wake up and just can't face going to work. Today was one of those days. I woke up exhausted, cranky, in pain, and stressed out. Usually, I get ready anyway and then head to the office. But, today I prayed about it and really felt like God was saying, "Stay home with your boys." I even questioned it because I get nervous a lot that I'm just using God as an excuse to do what I want to do. But I kept getting a strong feeling that I should stay home - and the usual guilt I feel about avoiding work wasn't there, so I took the day off.

It did wonders for me. I didn't think about work at all. I mostly focused on R and playing with him. In the early morning, R wanted to go outside and play with the garden hose. Sometimes, his playing with the hose turns into a power struggle between the two of us (he wants to use the "jet" setting and blow all my plants to smithereens), but today I just let him have fun. He made several puddles on the driveway, and we watched the water pool and swirl, and we looked at the pollen floating on top.

Later, A had to go to a doctor's appointment (he's STILL sick, the poor guy), so R and I took a little walk down to Spy Pond. He jumped from rock to rock, looked at a dead fish in the water, chased a butterfly, and talked to the mallard ducks that swam up to us.

For lunch, we walked to the diner down the street. I had an amazing chicken salad sandwich that had red peppers in it! Then we all took naps (one of the best things about having a young child is an excuse to take a nap!). In the afternoon, A and R went to visit A's parents one last time before they head back to California tomorrow, while I stayed home to have an hour to myself. I changed the beds, did some laundry, straightened up the house a bit, listened to some old Sam Cooke gospel tunes, and read a little. Just what I needed!

When I put R to bed tonight, I told him how much fun I had with him today and how much I love spending time with him. He said, "I love spending time with you, too, Mommy!"

The point of all this is that today reconfirmed for me something that's been on my heart for awhile now. I've been seriously thinking about reducing my hours at work. I've always wanted to, but now it's finally possible because A is making a lot more money than he used to. I would like to drop one day per week, but I think I'll only be able to do that every other week. In the last few weeks, the idea keeps coming into my head and poking at me. And I keep hearing God say to me, "Trust me." I believe this is an answer to several desperate prayers/please I made to God more than a year ago. All of a sudden, it dawned on me that it's possible! It was a long time coming, but I know that God often doesn't answer us as quickly as we want him to. (I love those times when I realize that God has answered a prayer that I forgot about - because He never forgets!)

So, I need to present my plan to some people at work and see what happens. I think it will be fine because there are at least two other women working 80% or less time in our company right now, and I'd only be requesting to work 90% time. And, my company has always been very supportive of me having a flexible schedule (I currently work two days a week from home).

If I can have two days a month like today - more time with R, a little less time worrying about work - I think it will make a huge difference in my happiness. Let's see what God has in store for me!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pictures from Vermont

This is R next to the little pond. It was filled with fish, surrounded by mint growing wild, and visited by many birds.
Swinging at the somewhat pitiful playground. But who needs playground equipment when you've got mountains and hills and miles of trails?
The view of A's family's guest house at Trapp Family Lodge (theirs is the bottom unit). It was overcast a lot while we were there, but it made everything seem greener. Plus, the clouds were just amazing. Deer and chipmunks are frequent visitors. We've also seen hummingbirds, herons, and a seagull! R was very interested in all the bugs he found on the steps leading down to the house: many slugs, a snail, a lightning bug, ants, and a few spiders.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Rainy Saturday

Now with pictures!

Today was gray and drizzly and chilly, so it was perfect for taking R to the Children's Museum. It was recently renovated, and this was our first time there since. R had a blast. There was a new climbing structure that was at the center of the museum and reached up several stories. It has what looks like lots of Fritos inside - wavy, carpeted platforms. R made his way up that thing so quickly, it was a little scary, especially because we couldn't really go in there with him. But he also made his way back down pretty quickly, which was cool. I was afraid he was going to get stuck. We met our friends there, and R and his friend A especially enjoyed the room with balls that you send through loops and chutes and such, and the two different water-play rooms: Boats Afloat and a bubble room. It got a little nutty in there after awhile - I guess every parent in the Boston metro area had the same idea as us today - but we still had fun.

Later, R and I played with blocks and fun foam, and we had an exciting game of hide-and-seek. (I love R's version of hide-and-seek, where he tells me where to hide and then counts backwards from 5 before coming to find me. He also keeps saying, "Mommy - where are you?" until I answer him.)

A is coming down with something: he's got chills and a fever and a sore throat. :-( R was very sweet and prayed with me for his daddy, and kept saying, "Good night, Daddy! I hope you feel better! You need to get lots of rest!" without any prompting from me. I hope that this bug doesn't get R and me, too.

Tomorrow, after church, I'm heading to the airport to pick up my friend Stef. I haven't seen her in a gazillion years, so I'm very excited to see her and for her to meet R.

Well, off to bed soon! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

We're home

Vermont was beautiful. Everything was green and lush and clean and crisp and wonderful. R had fun running around outside, rolling down hills with A, kicking and throwing balls, going for walks, swimming at the pool, and tasting a new flavor (Creme Brulee) at the Ben & Jerry's factory. He loved the guest house where we stayed and spending time with his grandparents and with an old family friend. He was so great the entire time - on the ride up, during our stay, and the ride back. It was our first major road trip with him (four hours each way), and it was a success.

The beauty of the mountains there helped me a lot. I did not have the best time (that's putting it nicely) - I got so stressed out from A's mom that I'm still trying to relax now 10 hours later. BUT... on Wednesday morning, I woke up before everyone else, threw on a sweater (it was only 40 degrees!), and went outside to pray and listen. I watched the clouds: there were all different kinds of formations, and one huge formation looked like smoke billowing out of one of the mountaintops. The sky was filled with clouds swirling around - some dark and threatening, others puffy and friendlier. It was pretty chilly.

Then, all of a sudden, the sun burst out of the clouds right above me and I was enveloped in warmth. I had to close my eyes because it was so bright. It was the most amazing feeling: I felt God all around me; I felt his love and presence. A few moments later, the clouds covered the sun again. And then I heard a tiny voice exclaim, "Mommy!" behind me. R ran into my arms, clad only in a t-shirt and shorts, and said, "It's COLD!" So we went back inside for some breakfast.

Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair that I'm so loved. I don't deserve it. But I'll take it just the same. :-)

Edited to add:

I had to share this verse that I read this morning because of how it relates to my experience in seeing the clouds in VT - I was so excited! [Emphasis mine]
May the glory of the Lord endure for ever,
may the Lord rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke!
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

I love those times when the Bible takes my breath away!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The hills are alive...

Tomorrow, we're headed to Vermont for a couple of days with A's parents at the Trapp Family Lodge (yes, of the Von Trapp Family from "The Sound of Music"), where they have their timeshare. Please pray for patience for me. I don't know what it is about A's mom, but whenever she's around, I become annoyed, cranky, sarcastic, grumpy, etc. I've prayed and prayed about it, but this particular miracle is slow-coming. I'm going to be working during our visit, but I think I'll at least have some time to enjoy the surroundings. It's truly amazingly beautiful there in the mountains.

The last week has been incredible for me - there are a lot of things moving in my life with God. I'll try to write more about those soon!

The weekend was really nice. On Friday night, our town kicked off its 200th anniversary celebration with music, birthday cake, and fireworks. We took R to the fireworks, and he LOVED it. And, watching fireworks with him made it so much more exciting and fun for A and I, too. The best part for me, though, was watching R run off to play with other kids. I love seeing him interact with other little ones. He spotted a couple of boys sitting nearby on a rock and announced to me, "I'm going to go play with them!" He headed over and asked them, "What are you doing?" Then, the three of them chatted about the fireworks, the lake, pirates, etc. and proceeded to climb up and jump off of the rock over and over again. R had lots of fun. But his favorite part of the night was seeing "TWO ICE CREAM TRUCKS!!!" parked next to each other near the field. :-)

The rest of the weekend, we spent a lot of time at home playing trains, doing puzzles, hanging out together. Heaven! We also went to the Museum of Science on Sunday because it was overcast and chilly. This time, we checked out the Butterfly Garden. Talk about seeing God all around you! The different colors, shapes, sizes of the butterflies was breathtaking. And having them fly around us and land on us was incredible. I didn't want to leave.

Freaky parenting moment of the weekend: On Sunday night, R was playing in the living room while I got his bath ready. I heard him telling A very quietly, "I'm sad. Nothing works anymore. The sky doesn't work. The trees don't work ..." He was kind of mumbling. I tried to ask him what he meant, but he just repeated himself. He did say that he was just pretending, and then he ran upstairs and was squealing with laughter and throwing toys around his room, back to his normal self. A and I just looked at each other and didn't know what to think. It was VERY strange.

Yikes - it's past 1 a.m. I've got to get to bed!