Tuesday, September 8, 2015


At some point during the deep quiet of 
the night


we are joined in our bed by a third party

who wiggles her way to comfort 
between the two of us

tossing and turning
occasionally fussing
stretching out horizontally in a 
bed made for two
digging her feet into our ribs in a 
sleep dazed frustration that seeks to 
find foot space

I turn her gently
and she is sucked magnetically into 
my side
pulling my arm over her in a gentle 
burying her head in the space under
my chin
her bright soft curls against my face

Her breathing evens and slows
and I lay quietly on the 1/6th of the
bed that remains my my own
And wait for sleep to reclaim me

(can you see the doll tucked into bed on our floor?)
So, the little people are back at school as of August 25. 
The boys weren't totally sure if they should be excited or not, except for Zion.  He was excited.  'Cause, hey.  First grade, baby!!  Real school!! :)

Walking in on the first day.  Since I need to document all of the things.

Gabe's fifth-grade homeroom class.
At their school, middle school starts in fifth grade, so he starts out in homeroom and then switches classes throughout the day.  He also has the quintessential locker. :)  

Israel's third grade class, with Ms. Miller.

Zion's first grade class, with Mrs. Isaacs.

I thought I would come home and have a peaceful and productive morning, since - two little girls!!  Peace and productivity, right??  Yeah...Layla decided to throw the Mother of All That Is Tantrum for about an hour as my ears cringed.  Finally, the Wise Mother casually suggested a walking trip to the nirvana known as Dunkin Donuts...and things quickly simmered down from there.  Not right away, mind you, but the light started to shimmer at the end of the tunnel and soon there was all this clothes changing and shoe finding and tiara placing and we were on our way, all smiles all around.
The cat tail. It makes me happy.

On our way to get out the door, Tim asked Layla if she wanted him to take her or if she wanted me to take her. "Mom," she promptly responded.

"Does that mean you like Mom more than you like me??" he gently teased her.

"No." another prompt response. "I like you more than I like Mom."  This evoked hearty mirth from both parentals.  Goober girl.

And while we're throwing in pictures of cute people...
Oh. my. word.

Here's that cute person sitting by the front door combing her stuffed kitty.

Israel broke his right arm during the first week of school.  He was "racing his bike with Zion and I had just reached top speed and I looked up and the minivan was right in front of me and I didn't have time to turn."  He put his arm out to stop, and that was the arm that was broken.  He cried and cried and didn't stop crying, and although he could move his arm at first, it quickly was too painful to move much at all, so I made a sling out of a scarf and we went quickly to the ER, where they xrayed it and found it to be broken.  

They applied a big, bulky, temporary splint that has since been changed out with a softer, smaller black wrist brace.  
He has had very little pain after the first two days. 

Here's the dent in the back of the van.  It makes me very glad that his head was ok and he just had a broken arm!!

A recent Portrait of the Mother, as illustrated by Layla.  I think it's quite a good likeness,

The kids wanted to light these candles the other morning, as I was getting a slower start to my day after a late night talking with our friend Alexis.  It's fun to talk late into the night. We were talking about personality tests and love languages, neither of which we can ever figure out for Tim.  He decided that his love languages are:

soft boiled eggs

This made me laugh, which everything after 12 AM does anyways.  :D

There you go.  The bandaid papers all over the floor, the grocery bags, the discarded underwear that was probably being a hat, the finger up the nose, the bandaids carefully applied by a loving sister, and the patient patient. :)  This is life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


We went camping last week at Cape Henlopen State Park.  Tim and the three boys went last year, and again this June, but this was the first I had brought the girlies.  We had a lot of fun.

We went to the beach

to get bowled over by waves

or sit on the sand and dig.

Walked in the woods

 Found critters.

Sat around the campfire
and got sooty.

 Tim turned 37

and we had a steak dinner over the fire.

We explored the Cape Henlopen Bay.

And visited Fort Miles.
Fort Miles was an American military installation constructed during World World II to defend the Delaware Bay and the Delaware River to protect domestic shipping from foreign attack.  It had a base in Cape Henlopen, DE and one directly opposite Cape May, New Jersey, which is the land you can see across the water in the background, forming the opening to the Delaware Bay.

They constructed several gun batterys, like this one

The design was that people in the lookout towers would pinpoint the location of a German ship in the water.

They would call their information into the room where they would do page-long trignonometry equations to figure out where to aim the gun at the ship.

The control room would call their information down to the gun room,  

who could not see anything but only positioned the gun to where they were instructed, 
which would be loaded with the 12-16 inch wide shells.

The gunmen basically had no hearing protection, and after firing the 16 inch shells, the ears of the gunmen would bleed.  They were told to turn away and cover their ears and open their mouths to prevent their eardrums from exploding because the pressure from the gun firing sucked all of the air in the room momentarily.

The Delaware Bay also contained mines in case of submarine attack or a German ship.

The installation never saw major action, as no German ships ever attempted to enter the Bay.  It took 48 people to man one gun battery.  At it's peak, Fort Miles housed 2,200 people.  After the war, the land was turned over to the State Park.  It was a very interesting tour.

The last of the four nights we stayed, it poured rain at about 3 AM, two inches within one hour.  I thought we were ok, with only the barest of raindrops finding it's way through the tent cover, until I sat up to move some bags away from the side of the tent and realized that the entire floor of the tent was wet with the exception of the slight rise of the foam mattress I was sleeping on.  I immediately checked the girls, and lifted Caroline out of the puddle she was sleeping in, and she dripped water as I laid her on my bed, but didn't wake up.  Layla was also lying in water, but didn't wake up until I woke her for us all to run out to the minivan in the pouring rain where I tried to figure out what to do.  I ended up driving home, soaked to the bone, and we drove back the next morning after getting a good solid chunk of sleep in dry beds. :)


The odd intimacy
of a campsite in August
bared, tan limbs
makeup free faces
stubble and sweat and soot

We shuffle too and from the bathhouse
in the mornings
bedheaded and frowsy
yawning and puffy faced
clad in sleep clothes

Sharing bathrooms
and shower space
I blink at the profusity of a stranger's hair in the drain
and go about my washing

Brief smiles exchanged as we meet on the dirt path
we retreat back into our own personal space
cooking and laughing and fighting and birthday songs
on our side of the invisible line between campsites
yours to view with veiled curiousity
or apathetic detachment

hair pulled back
comfy clothes
flip flops

strangers living among strangers for a span of days
relaxing into their own patch of earth and sky and sand
to just be