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Enjoying the Small Things

I have laryngitis. Really bad. To the point where I open my mouth to speak and, despite all my laborious efforts to will some sound–any sound–to disperse, nothing comes out but for a weak, breathy whisper.

And I love to talk…I savor my words. So, it has been quite an experience these past couple days to sit quietly, saving the very few bursts of audible screeches I still have energy to emit for only the most important of communication opportunities…like ordering a beer. Or, okay… saying I love you to the babies. But a good experience because, when you cannot, for obvious reasons, spend energy on outputting, you instead enjoy the ride of input. Taking in the sounds around me and expressing myself through other senses–and a few breathy whispers–rather than the occasionally obnoxious loud-ish-ness my character renders itself to.

And the challenge has presented itself beautifully with managing a two-year-old as I am finding it alternately rewarding at the presentation of fits and such to just go hold her…pick her up and squish her close…distract her with hugs and tickles and purposeful silence as opposed to the verbal onslaught that so often follows. So, the lack of voice has been a bit of a blessing, I suppose…and that’s not just some far-fetched attempt to make lemonade of vocacally-challenged lemons. Promise.

So with all that said (but not really because I have no voice to say)…
a good, old-fashioned, it’s-about-time “Enjoying the Small Things” post. For new readers, it is a post dedicated to the spontaneous proclamation of love for random happies, based on my fifteen-year-old tattered copy of this book:


* The Welcome Home worthy of a perfect, Olympic 10. I saw the imaginary score cards. I heard the clapping. In fact, it wasn’t so imaginary as the poster we made and the little cutie holding it gathered a small crowd of onlookers who I think assumed the daddy was a returning soldier. I’m sure they were disappointed when they saw a suit rather than the camo they were expecting.

We, however, were not disappointed but tearfully enthused rather at the reminder that we love this man very much and his presence in our family is essential ( :o) for our functioning.

Their bond is, in a word…magic, and I am beginning to wonder if perhaps this girl has a bit of extra chromosome too…one with all sorts of magnetic daddy genes.

I breathe a bit differently when he’s here…relief for the little missing piece in my puzzle that has been found.

And I know it’s a bit cliche to write *big sigh* in a blog post, but… *big sigh.*


* Our Neighborhood Lemonade Stand this weekend. The one Heidi and I stayed up until one in the morning to prepare for. The one we thought our kids would never forget. The one we tied a hundred gingham ribbons to homemade scones and brownies and cookies for…to reap…less than desirable expectations. Because our community garage sale turned out to be a surprising bomb this year. And our kids wandered away from the few customers they had just to dig through garage sale crap that used to be theirs and cry because they didn’t want it sold. And the ice melted and bees got trapped in the lemonade (thanks to the customer that pointed that out) and we gave away more than we sold.

We may not have raised a ton of money for Haiti (okay $60, but I think my dad gave $30 of it), but we did find a lot of really old food encrusted in a high chair we embarassingly sold to some lady.

And despite the fact that we were more prepared for the lemonade stand and less prepared for the garage sale, thus probably the neighborhood joke as we, last-minute, dragged a bunch of meaningless junk out to the driveway and slapped price stickers on it as people were arriving, we did use the garage sale as a great opportunity to sit in the driveway with friends, sip coffee, kiss babies, and laugh while we, um…ignored customers.


* Watching the daddy love his babies. When I was introduced to Brett for the first time six or so years ago, the first thing I saw was how he loved his boys. And I knew it then. I was smitten.

The man is simply the most amazing father ever. Enough said.


* Our perfectly wonderful Sunday morning.

Arriving early to the beach and meandering along shell paths, chasing sandpipers and seagulls, tracing shadows, collecting shells, and digging our toes into cold sand on the first warm and sunny morning in quite some time. And completing our Sunday beach stroll with coffee and donuts at DD with Papa and Gary.

(all collage pics taken with phone!)

(and Lainey would have been in this photo had she not been completely distraught over sandy pantlegs)

And finally, Enjoying…

* The Return of Isle of Capri.

It was almost surreal arriving there today. A bit strange and healing all at once. How many times I’ve walked this beach all big-bellied, collecting shells for the baby, dreaming of my girls on this shore. And there we sat today, Nella burrowed under thin blankets and Lainey, all grins and bikinied ruffles piling pails of sand into castle heaps. I panicked for a moment, thinking I’d have to think of something to say as our friends at the Fish House came to adore our new one. And came they did, but then I remembered I have laryngitis. Screw it…I couldn’t tell them if I wanted to. So I smiled…and took in the congratulations.

And, oh…my firstborn. With no voice to distract me, I just took her in today…every bit of her happiness. I love everything about this little soul. Her independence and free spirit that is perfectly balanced with this need for love and security.

She loves her “Eye-oh-Cup-pea.” And I love my first-born. Very much.

Definitely, our beachy Sunday was a happy one indeed.

And finally, Enjoying…

* Her smiles. They are many and they are magic.


Enjoying the Small Things: Home

Cartwheeling into this week with some Monday Enjoying the Small Things.  And so I don’t have to type Enjoying the Small Things so many times, I’ve created some alias phrases, categorized into different levels of enthusiasm so everyone finds their thang.

Ride a Unicorn
Throw Some Glitter On It
Find a Rainbow

Paint the Town Yellow
Kick a Skip in Your Step
Hum a Happy Ditty


Frown with Kind Eyes

See, somethin’ for everyone.  Not every cloud shape needs to be perceived as Care Bears jumping rope.  Simply smiling is an option. 

Today, I’m enjoying:

The fact that Nella was walking around my bedroom this morning, rattling off her favorite words–Daddy, Lala, Latte.  I didn’t realize she had my phone until I heard Siri robotically reply, “I don’t know what you mean.  If you like, I can search the web for Daddy Lala K.”


Ballet Class
Lainey wanted to play ballet class this weekend.  “I’m Miss Blair and Nella’s my student,” she said.  She insisted on “high high buns” for both of them–“with no bumps.”  And classical music.  And legwarmers.  And for Nella to do whatever she said.  The last one went well for a little while.

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There was a lot of instruction on the point, flex thing.  Sister is serious about her students getting it right.

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But then Sister started getting a ‘lil bossy.  And Nella has no time for bossy. 

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And when Nella doesn’t like bossy, she clearly lets you know “I’m not listening.”

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The response was disastrous.  Game over. 
It was precious while it lasted.

Pickle Party
Apparently they made up because twenty minutes after The Fall of Ballet Class, I found them in a box with a jar of pickles. Lainey: “We’re having a pickle party, Mom.”


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Boys Who Smile in Their Sleep
Smiling would normally be categorized under “low” for Enjoying the Small Things, but while you’re sleeping?  That’s got to be a medium.  I’d love to know what he was dreaming about.

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Esther Williams in Training
Canon balls.  Lots of them this weekend.

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Little Music Maker
He figured out how to add to the music around here. 
Oh, and babies who shake maracas?  Pretty sure that’s a “high.” Okay medium, but if I catch his rhythm matches “Proud Mary,” I’m calling it a high.

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river.


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Sisters Holding Hands
Everywhere and always.  Except when things get bossy.

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Ice Cream Reflections
She was mesmorized.

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Babies in Sun Streaks
The perfect combination of warm and happy and peaceful.

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The Dog Whisperer
They get each other.

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And a favorite moment this weekend:

I was editing some photos while Lainey and Nella stood behind my desk watching. One of the ballet photos popped up, and Lainey said, “Mom, tell Nella what you tell me when you see a picture of me.”

For a second I forgot. “I don’t remember. What do you mean?” I asked.

“You know, that special thing you say about wishing I was yours. Do it for Nella.”

I smiled as I remembered. “Oh, you mean like this.” I put Nella on my lap and pointed to her little body on the screen. “Oh, look at that precious little girl!  I sure do wish I had a daughter just like her.”

Eager to respond, Lainey smiled and jumped in on cue. “You do, Mom. She is yours.”

“Really?  She is?!  Wow.  I feel so lucky.”

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Happy Monday. Paint the town yellow.

Enjoying: Easter Prep and Ice Cream Trucks


A little Enjoying the Small Things for you this Tuesday.


A Box House

Lainey and her friend made a box house this past weekend which kept them busy for at least four hours. They even tiled the “shower floor” with glue, rocks and sea glass.

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Things didn’t go well when Dash and Nella decided to stop in for a visit.

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My friend Andrea who knows all the good parenting magazine advice told me she read an article that gave great suggestions for avoiding sibling resentment. You’re not supposed to blame things on siblings. Like if we’re at the beach and Lainey’s having fun, according to Magazine Experts (no sarcasm there, nope), I shouldn’t say, “Time to leave the beach, your brother and sister are shot” even if that’s true.

I like to take this new advice to the moon now.

“Lainey, time to leave the beach. I have to tell you, your brother and sister fought hard for you to stay. I mean, Nella was holding my leg saying ‘No mom! We can’t leave! Lainey’s having too much fun.’ And see Dash crying? He’s crying because he loves you and is so sad that you have to pack up and go.”

So this one went something like, “Lainey, there was a mean badger who was trying to tear up your box, and Dash and Nella ran in to protect it. They’re guarding your house! It’s TRUE SIBLING LOVE!”

She doesn’t buy any of it, of course.

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Dash’s Life Goal

…to one day figure out how to get this mobile down. I’m scared of how that will play out.

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Morning Face.

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Pool Game Strong

It’s that time of year.

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Dash’s Second Life Goal

…to take this puppet down.

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His secret weapon? The Ked kick. Lethal, I tell you.

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Looking for Nella and finding her here.

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I cut Lainey’s hair at the end of our spring break, per her request. She looks like a different kid, and the new look hasn’t worn off yet. I love it. I stare at it when she steps out of the car at school drop-off, when I pick her up, when she climbs out of bed in the morning and when she props her arm up on the counter to rest her head while she eats her pancakes. “Ugggghhhh. Seriously, I just love your haircut. Have I told you that yet?” I say.

“Mom, stop saying you love my haircut. I know.” Eye roll, eye roll, eye roll.

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Ice Cream Trucks

Our neighborhood hosted a block party this past weekend and generously provided food and entertainment for the kids–entertainment that included, much to my kids’ delight, an ice cream truck.

I didn’t recognize the ice cream truck when it pulled up because it was a sleek and modern van–all white and minimalist.

“Whoa, nice van,” Brett said.

“That? That is not an ice cream truck,” I pointed out.

“It’s 2015. We have iPhones. It’s an ice cream truck,” he answered.

“I will never accept that.”

I’ve decided I’m going to start creeping out at night to find the white ice cream vans of the world. I will paint them yellow and add big polka dots and striped awnings. I will Banksy that shit up right.

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Also I let Dash wear his Easter romper early because he’s growing about an inch a night, and at that rate I figured we have about three weeks of wear for this thing. You’ll be seeing a lot of it.

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The bush in our front lawn is full of it right now–white blooms overtaking every branch. They’re so fragrant, you can smell them the second you step outside. I snip and sneak them in the house but always find them minutes later wilting out on our lanai because someday–won’t name names here–moved them due to allergies. So we wear them in our hair while we play.

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Egg Head Queens.

Found these cute little crown combs in Target’s party favor aisle. Clipped the comb off with wire snippers and, voila! Egg queens.

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Easter Basket Toiletries

Helping the Easter bunny out with his basket stuffing duties this week and need an easy last minute idea? You can add some special magic kid shampoo, formulated in the Easter Bunny Borrow. Hop & Peep is all the rage in fairytale land. I just used travel toiletry bottles from Target, poured our favorite kid products in them and taped on a printed label I made. Passing it on if you’d like to use: Download the free Easter label printable here.

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