Category Archives: Nicholas

Beautiful Boy

We went to dinner last night, and then took Nick for a haircut. Great Clips, as you do. He patiently waited for his turn. Then, when it was his turn, he smiled and made small talk with the hair stylist.

He made small talk with the stylist.

For years, the same stylists would try to talk to him and he smiled at them with nothing to say. Or at least, without the ability, confidence, social skills to say anything. There has always been a lot going on inside, it just didn’t have a way out.

The stylist looked at me a couple times during the haircut and said “Does he ever get upset?” and “He is sweet down to his core.” and to him “You are my very favorite client.” and “You have made my whole day. We should all be more like you.”

The stylist next to her poked her head over and said “He smiled the whole time, didn’t he? I have never seen him not smiling.”

Sometimes a simple haircut can make a mom’s day too.

With his sister away with a friend for the weekend, he is enjoying his special time. We had donuts for breakfast and have already made cookies and played foosball.

He asked if I was letting him catch up to me in foosball. The truth? Nope. He loves foosball and is getting better and better every day. He’ll be beating me soon enough, so I’m taking all the wins I can right now. And when he beats me, he’ll know it was because he won, fair and square.

We’re honest with each other like that. At the end of the game, for a split second he might be sad that he lost, but faster than you can even realize it, he’s happy that I won. Because he loves me and he wants me to win everything. He roots for everyone before himself.

As we were making the cookies he started singing “Beautiful Boy” quietly to himself. I didn’t even know he knew that song but I joined right in singing with him. He smiled even bigger.

I asked him where he learned the song. It’s from a movie he likes, so no mom points for introducing him to the greats. We sang it together once and then he started changing the words to be Beautiful Fiona and Beautiful LuLu. He didn’t want to be the center of attention.

But he is the center of my attention. Even when I’m not doing a great job of showing him that. So I grabbed him, and we danced a little, and sang some more.

Me and my Beautiful Boy. 


End of December

It’s pretty bad when you can’t even remember your password to write a post. Ahem. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Nick is now 5. Five. Wow. In a way it seems like he’s been 5 for a while, but in other ways, it can still sneak up on you. If he’s five, then Maggie is 7 1/2. Seven and a half is almost 8. I’m not sure I like where this is heading. I am trying to not worry about the teenage years until they are, you know, teenagers. (So my boy turns 5 and I’m talking about teenagers. I know… I know…)

Nick also is now tonsil and adenoid free. He’s breathing better, sleeping better, eating better and this week I can say for sure it was the right call. Actually as soon as the surgeon described the adenoids I knew it was the right call, but there’s that moment when your child wakes up from anesthesia that makes you wonder why you let these monsters touch your sweet baby, let alone carve part of their bodies out. He’s beyond all that, and was actually a pretty easy going patient. I could tell the day he felt better when he started messing with the cats again.

(P.S. for anyone who is having a tonsillectomy – 10 day recovery period. No lie. Ten days.)

And now we sit on the precipice of a new year – I’m a resolution maker. I am. Although I make resolutions just about every day, so it’s not really anything different for me. In late December, I usually write them down in a note on my phone and some years I look at the last year’s note and go with those. Other years, it’s a whole new list.

Some things I’m going to do this year (not resolutions, more goals):

take up knitting again, successfully this time.

launch a new website, with two redesigns on my current sites

pay off my super-duper new commercial embroidery machine (don’t worry, you’ll be hearing plenty about that soon.)

get back to more personal writing and documenting of our lives.

What about you? Do you make resolutions? Goals? Anything new you want to tackle in 2012?


Feeling a little chatty today. Ahem.

I took Nick to Home Depot yesterday to buy a 2×4 to use as a balance beam. I got a chance to see some of the PT he does at school and much of it are things that we could easily be practicing at home, assuming I have them on a to-do list to cross off.

Our 2×4 is nowhere near as nice as the school’s but ours was only $2.30. The school’s might actually be a 3×3, but I’m calling it close enough.

Anyway, Nick was very happy with our new purchase and apparently felt a certain amount of ownership. Maggie came home from school and a melee ensued over the 2×4 piece of lumber on our living room floor.

They took turns. Only because an adult was standing there making sure no one took a 2×4 to the head.

Today, minutes after Maggie got home from school, I came into the living room to see Nick stretched out (the boy is l-o-n-g) on the 2×4.

“Are you lying on that so Maggie can’t get on it?”

“Yes. It’s mine.”

At least he’s honest.

I guarantee you if I had bought two of them, no one would want to use either of them.


Is that Navy Pier?

Friday, in a moment of confidence, I changed our travel itinerary. Originally the plan was to get Maggie from school a little early, wait for Nick to get off the bus and high tail it to Indianapolis or however far we wanted to go before stopping at a hotel, spending the night, and getting up early Saturday morning for the rest of the trip.

Then I decided Nick would miss school, Maggie would only go until lunch (which isn’t until 12:50!) and we would drive the whole way starting at 1pm – assuming that if it got crazy, we could always stop at a hotel and go with the original plan.

As we passed downtown Nashville, Nick asked “Is that Navy Pier?”

“Uh, no. We’ve got 8 hours until Navy Pier.”

“How long until Navy Pier?”

“Uh, 7 hours and 45 minutes.”

“How long until Navy Pier?”

Repeat ad nauseam.

Repeat again, just for good measure.

We pass Louisville after an hour-long traffic backup.

“Is that Navy Pier?”


We pass Indianapolis.

“Is that Navy Pier?”


“Is the sun setting?”

“Yes. Go to sleep!”

“Wake me when we get to Navy Pier.”

“Sure!” I said. *no way buddy* I thought.

Aaaaaand they never fell asleep. Either of them. For the whole 9 1/2 hour trip.

When we finally drove past Navy Pier, I said “There’s Navy Pier!” as we discussed the way you get on and off the ferris wheel in ski lift fashion.

Five minutes later “Mom?”


“I think we went past Navy Pier.”

Yeah, at that point it was just funny. Or we were crazy. Or both. We all sang “Celebrate Good Times” as we cruised down Lake Shore Drive.

It was 10:30 at night when we rolled into my parents’ house. And midnight (midnight!!) when we all finally fell asleep.

What time did Nick wake up, you wonder? Well, 6:01am, of course.

We will load up the car in the morning and do the reverse trip, but at least we’ll pass Navy Pier in the first hour.

A day in the life

“Get your shoes on. We’re going to the grocery store as soon as Maggie gets on the bus,” I said to Nick.

“What if she doesn’t get on the bus?” Nick asked.

“Well, then I guess we’ll drop her off. But she will get on the bus so get your shoes on.”

“What if she does get on the bus?”

“Then we’re going to the grocery store.”

“Are we getting a lot or a little?”

“Just dinner for tonight and a few other things.”

“Is that a little?”


“What are we having for dinner?”

“Tacos. Please put your shoes on.”

“What if I don’t put my shoes on?”

“You need to put your shoes on.”

“But what if I don’t?”

“Shoes, now. Please.”

“What if I do put my shoes on?”

“We will go to the store as soon as the bus comes.” (Putting shoes on should not be this hard or hurt my brain so much.)

It should be noted we went to the store, brought home groceries, went to Whole Foods, Autozone, Hobby Lobby, and Once Upon a Child. We made it home just in time for Maggie to get off the bus (half-day today).

Do you have any idea how many questions I answer every day? Do you? 

when one door slams

I used to be a door slammer. Every once in a while I revert back to my old door-slamming ways, but for the most part, I am a recovered door slammer. Or at least, that’s what I think.

I still close doors with emphasis when I get really frustrated.

A funny story (now, 14 years later, it’s funny) from long ago: When my husband and I had first begun to share a home, and were still working out the kinks of a new relationship and cohabitation, I got really mad during an argument, stomped off and slammed the bedroom door.

Well, I tried to slam the bedroom door. It got stuck on a rug that was nearby and wouldn’t slam. In my growing frustration, I repeatedly tried to slam the door getting the rug further jammed under the door. After about four minutes of trying to slam the door, I huffed and walked into another bedroom and slammed that door.

Recently my children have started slamming doors. They slam them in each other’s faces when they get angry with each other. They slam them to prove that their room is their room. They slam them to prove that they can. And sometimes they just shut them loudly and it sounds like a slam.

It makes me crazy.


We’ve talked about door slamming. We’ve talked about what it feels like to have a door slammed in your face. We’ve talked about how much it would hurt to have a finger slammed in a door. We’ve talked about how loud it is and how much it bothers mommy. We’ve talked and talked and talked.

And if you come to visit our house right now, there is a certain seven-year-old who no longer has a door to her bedroom.


Maggie has had birthday money burning a hole in her pocket for over a month now. (In previous years, we deposited birthday money straight into her college fund, but this year she caught on.) Yesterday she decided she wanted to buy a Build-A-Bear for herself to go with the one I brought home for her from a conference I went to last year.

I was lucky enough to hear a talk given by Build-A-Bear creator Maxine Clark who has a heart of gold. (I will admit here that I had always refused to even take the kids into B-A-B because I assumed the marketing was a ploy to get kids to want and buy and “mom, can I have this?” Which, to be honest, they do a great job of marketing, but there actually is more to it.)

This morning when Maggie offered to buy her brother a bear also, I said “Let’s go!” and away we went.

Both of the kids were enchanted with choosing their own bear, watching them get stuffed, wishing on the heart and putting it in, watching them be stitched up into a real “live” bear, giving them an air bath, and of course, picking out some clothes.

Nick bathed his bear about 7 times while Maggie shopped for accessories.

build-a-bear May I introduce the newest member of our clan – Sparkle (purple) and Magilda who has been with us for almost two years now.

Nick was determined before we left that he was going to get a pink bear. I thought I’d be able to talk him into a brown bear with pink clothes in case he changed his mind later about the pink.

pink bearBut this is how he rolls. A pink bear with a Cars T-shirt, black jeans, black loafers, and yellow hair bows. Oh, and her name is Chloe. (Please to notice his own green striped shirt and plaid pants.)

But he loves her. And so do I.

Maggie got a handful of accessories including this:

snorkeling suitbecause every bear needs a snorkeling suit.

I *may* be using the new bears as a ploy to get Nick to sleep all night by himself which he totally does when I am not home. When I am home, he wakes up and wants me to sleep with him.

*Note – when I sleep in his bed upstairs I have a 100% chance of being able to sleep later than if I sleep in my own bed which *could* have something to do with how long this has gone on. Ahem.

“Is she alive? Will she move?” he asked.

Maggie jumped right in with the perfect answer. “She is alive. She may not move in front of you, but the love you give her makes her alive.”