Yogi Bear, Jellystone camping resort. One of my favorite family trips! Nothing like a tiny little cabin (without a bathroom) to keep your family close! Waking up with a river view, waiting for your siblings to hit the bathrooms, some uninvited crawling night guests, morning fishing, walking to park and pool, lazy river! Morning eggs, evening bbqs. Midday walks to ice-cream shop, little brother in diapers playing mini golf at least twice a day, lots of snacking, nonnas smiles, roasting marshmallows, cabin squabbles. A lifetime of memories made.
Every evening at about 8:30pm the fireflies start showing their glow. I’ve been enjoying taking a walk during this exact time and I call it the lightning bug walk. I let everyone know “It’s time for the lighting bug walk” I got the kids to come with me on this magical summer walk and they excitedly collected 32 fireflies, releasing them upon catching them. I used to put them in a jar and watch them for a while but they couldn’t bare the thought of that. I tell Liam, these are nature’s fireworks without the loud noise. He’s not a fan of fireworks, fireflies are his preferred lightshow.
what a beautiful summer night activity. My most favorite next to making smores.
Our old coop was destroyed by a racoon early last fall. Along with ripping apart our coop, the racoon viciously attacked and killed 3 of our 4 chickens. Knowing how much I loved and enjoyed our chickens, Amir made it his will to build me a brand new chicken coop, one that he would design and build from scratch. I’m never surprised by what he’s capable of building, more like mesmerized and curious to know how is brain and hands work together to create his creations. I don’t think I can call this a chicken coop, it’s more like a country club for chickens. He not only poured blood and sweat into this project, but he poured so much love into it. I think that’s what surprised me the most. I spent several years convincing him to get chickens and through experiencing them for a couple of years he’s learned to love having chickens in our yard. This coop was a labor of love, not just for me and the kids but also for these beautiful egg giving girls. He built the coop for me, but with the hens in mind. He thought of every little detail to make sure these girls would be safe, protected and happy. No different than what he does for his family. Everything he does for his family and those he loves is done with pure passion and adrenalin. Thank you! There is no better feeling than rising up early and going out there to feed those little ladies. And the exitment of finding eggs in the coop never gets old. The first eggs layed in that coop will be made into a delicious omelet for you.
“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
His hands are small but his enthusiasm is big. Sometimes he makes little tasks more difficult than they are and take longer than they should, in the end though, he is learning and one day when his hands are bigger (hopefully his enthusiasm stays the same) he will be a big help.
We barley miss a dinner together. In a world of such unpredictability, the one thing you can be sure of is dinner together at 6pm. As the kids are getting older, I started recently realizing that this ritual our family has will slowly start to change. We started off just Amir and I, and soon enough Isabel joined us at the table, 2 and a half years later, another seat was taken up by Melina, followed by Lia 21 months later. For 8 years there was an extra seat at our dining table and the kids always felt uneven about it. They often stated how we needed another kid so that all 6 seats would be filled. And here we are, our 6th occupant, Liam, is now 2 and a half years old. Boy our table is a full one. Lots of home cooked food shared, some take out here and there, Friday night pizzas, extra seating added for friends and cousins, school complaints, work complaints, debates, arguments, chaos, even the occasional fist slam, and people leaving the table. But one thing is for sure, every evening at 6pm those people come back to the table and we start all over again. I wish I could freeze time and keep all of these individuals at my table, soon they will blessed to be part of others dinner tables and I pray they will always feel as welcomed as the table they will always have at home.
My first born daughter, my first parenting class, my trial and error, my science experiment, my oops, my first parenting mistakes, my looking glass into future parenting, my lets try this, my lets not do this with the other 3, my reward, my success. 15 years of parenting, you make me feel accomplished. I am so proud of you and I know you will only continue to make us proud. Thank you for helping me figure out the foundations of parenting and for helping dad and I build a strong structure for you and your siblings.
Almost close to being 2 and a half years old and this little guy has such personality, attitude and already has an opinion of what he likes to wear. He’s afraid of Spiderman shirts at the moment, so those are currently not being worn. He loves to wear his red flannel, and refuses to wear a jacket, hat, gloves or boots. He spent snow days playing with a bin of snow in the house! He’s got us all watching episodes of blippi, I know every song by heart and plan to have our dj play bljppi songs at Melinas batmitzvah. He loves monster trucks, his favorite is Max D. The other day he said “mommy I’m going to buy you a Max D truck. ” and I asked him “how are you going to pay for it?” And he said “with my quarter’s.” I melted. In a house full of girls he’s 100% lover of all things boy. He sleeps with a bat in his hands, or some kind of ball, and he brings it with him as he makes his way into our bedroom during night. Sometimes I roll over and there’s a bat under my head…ahh the sweetest thing! He’s know all of the right things to say like “mommy, I love you so much, and I love you eye’s and you nails.” Not sure where that came from. He loves his milky and yes, he still likes his boobie time. I know, it’s time to cut him off. But in a season of my life where the days are moving so quickly, I enjoy these quiet, cuddly moments which would otherwise be filled with something else to do. One of my favorite things that he does lately is after he wakes up and we are all downstairs he yells “here I am.” It’s the best, because I am so glad that he’s here. Oh and did I mention, he loves to play backgammon!
These are the days that I leave for 20 minutes and in a matter of that small amount of time, empty glasses are left on the center island, cabinets are hurrily left open, a car makes its way across the kitchen table, crumbs have been collected as another cookie gets eaten because someone left the cookie container out. A water cantene is used, yet again as a drinking cup. These are the days that I’m going to remember and cry about because I’m going to miss them so much. So today when I walked through the door and saw the little messes that was left for me, I sat down, smiled and reminded myself that without them, none of this would be here and I’d take hundreds of dirty cups on my counter for hundreds of clean ones just sitting in my cabinet. These are the days, the best days.
When I ask Liam about our new laundry room, he tells me how it was built. He tells me how walls were torn down and new walls went up. How the floors were ripped up and how new tile went down. He talks about the nails and the hammering, how the old machines came out and new machines went in. He naturally wants to do everything daddy does. Thankfully for Liam we have a good daddy to copy, although there was some cave like behavior at times when things got frustrating, but those sounds are fun to copy too.