Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My new Hummer

has made all the difference in the world around here! Gumpai and Gumbum bought us a quadruple Hummer stroller which has made daily outings a "reasonable" possibility. The persistent comments from spectators have given me endless annoyance and entertainment, and are becoming part of our every day "normal". The boys have been thrilled to have a designated seat on the bus, as hitch-hiking with perfect strangers was beginning to look like the more reliable form of transport whilst away from home. And Mommy? Well, sanity is now an attainable possibility for our out and about activities.

Remarks from the Peanut Gallery have been particularly outrageous (and appreciated) of late, so let me not further delay:

"Mommy, can I watch a movie?"
"Mommy, I'm really going to miss you."
"Madigan, why?"
"Because you're going on vacation. Daddy is coming home from work and Paugie, Daddy and I are going to help you pack your special things. Then, we're going to drive you to the airport and then Daddy will bring the boys home and turn on a movie." That should do it.

My dear friend, Shelly, was here for super nanny duties following Kelton's arrival and decided to include Madigan in her trip to Costco. As they stood in line, waiting for the cashier, Madigan observed two boys arguing with one another. "Boys, what are you doing?", he asked. When they continued bickering, he raised his voice and said sternly, "You need to stop. You need to be kind!" Every surrounding adult was charmed, to say the least.

After several outbursts one afternoon, I forbid the Tiger from pronouncing how cross he would be if things didn't take a turn to his satisfaction. Upon encountering the next roadblock to his agenda, he inadvertently announced, "I'm gonna be so cross... ing... the river." Clever boy.

As I reached down to pick up Kelton, Madigan rushed over, pushing my hands out of the way and said, "I've got this Mommy. He's my little brother, and I'm his biggest brother" True that - just please remember to support his head as you yank him into the air.

"Mommy, that's a joist." When I looked up to see what he could possibly be referring to, it was the beam running across the center of our house. How on earth? Did I double check the internet to confirm what a joist is? Affirmative.

As I prepared to open my computer, Madigan rushed over with his "toy" (pictured below) and benevolently stated: "Mommy, here, use my computer. You'll really love it. See, it has tabs which you can open." Tabs?  I can't decide if I'm more horrified that he knows about tabs, or that he knows about them from me.

The Hummer

Efficient trike riding.

Heart melter.

Part II.


Part II.


Part II.

Daddy and his wolf pack.

Part II. 
"Mommy, I've got this." 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Three Generations of incredible

These three horses have shaped my life, in so many ways.

Jasi, the mother of Fancy and grandmother of Devany (photo taken when I was 15)
Jasi and me - how many hours we spent riding in the woods together.
Fancy, mother of Devany
Greatest horse of all time, in my humble opinion. :-)
Devany, 6 months old
Devany, 2 years old (I'll post a riding picture when I'm actually riding this fantastic creature!) :-)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


As I've been watching my sweet blue-eyed Jevy, I find myself inadvertently smiling, every day. His happytown demeanor brings so much joy to this household, where chaos often has free rein. As I wrestle with the challenges that accompany my role as the mother (guardian/teacher/nurturer/comforter) of this little pack of marvelous creatures, I often fear the unintentional emotional neglect of one or another in the process. Since Kelton's arrival, I have worried most keenly about Jevy, as his place among the big brothers is still in formation, and his position as the baby has been replaced.

And yet, every morning, I am faithfully and relentlessly greeted by his incredible smile, grunts of pleasure, and sweet (though not always gentle) pats on my face from his chubby paws. When I moved his carseat next to Madigan's and made him a more integral part of the "big boy's club" in the truck, his approval was evident.  As he has tackled the daunting task of walking on his own twos, his lack of confidence has been quickly overshadowed by our applause and encouragement.

He, as always, still follows the lead and example of his brothers, but I've seen a deep underlying independence (of thought and, consequently action) over the past several weeks. He's happy to be "doing his own thing" as much as he's happy to be a full participant in the antics of his biggest heros. Several times, if I'm careful to pay attention, I have discovered him being a helper - picking up the items he just removed from a drawer, throwing dirt off the porch when he doesn't think it belongs, putting his toys away after he has finished with them, and wiping down his high chair tray when he's finished eating. If I say something, it's obvious he hasn't done it for anyone's specific affirmation - he has done it because he saw a need and how he could take care of it. What a treasure is this little man in our lives.

First photo in sequence was taken by "Gumbum" (Gwenn McCaleb)

Monday, April 21, 2014

The problem is,

he steals my heart over and over. When he bobs his head toward mine and gives me little kisses, I'm worthless - just a puddle. He has started to smile when he sees me or hears my voice and today when his brothers were adoring him ferociously (a bit like bulls in a china closet), he had a grin on his face the whole time. He's making great eye contact and is perpetually happy as long as he's part of what's going on (and, yes, being in Mommy's arms at all times is certainly the preferred option).

He loves his baths. Eats every 2-3 hours. Wakes at night to eat, but otherwise blesses us with sound sleep (we keep pinching ourselves to make sure we're not dreaming (from lack of sleep)). Has blessed us with countless blowouts. Has peed in his face once, so far. Loves to be carried in Mommy's hipster pack. Sleeps best when his brothers are careening around the house at full gallop and when the voice of lions, tigers and bears drown out all other possibilities. Couldn't stop smiling at Daddy this morning - not a terrible way to wake up! So, yes, we're crazy about this Kelton kid.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Getting to spend time with this lovely creature

brings me great delight these days. I've started her training back up, and it's like preparing a canvas for a great painting. Kind of intimidating. :-)

Thank you to my Mom, Gwenn McCaleb, for the photo

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Touched by a Tiger

As we headed to the zoo this morning, Madigan helped me carry down the snack, bottles of milk and extra everything (we don't go anywhere without backup "all things important", these days). He mentioned his anticipation of devouring the full quart of cheerios, once we got to the zoo.

While waiting at a stoplight near the zoo, Madigan noticed an elderly lady holding a sign that simply read, "Hungry". She looked pale and very thin, so it was easy to believe that she was indeed destitute and in need of some nourishment. Madigan (who has never commented about other homeless people we've seen) said, "She looks hungry, Mommy. We should feed her." The light turned green and we proceeded to the zoo (my guilty conscience haunting me aggressively). When we saw how crowded the zoo was, we pulled a u-turn and returned in the direction we had come. Madigan asked if we were going back to "feed our new friend" and I told him, "yes". We pulled into the gas station next to where she was standing. Madigan unbuckled himself and grabbed that cheerio container he had been coveting as we left the house, 10 minutes earlier.

I rolled down the window and he waved for her to come over to our vehicle. She smiled and when he handed her the goodies, her eyes instantly filled with tears and she said, "thank you, baby". He smiled and said, "Oh! You're welcome!(with typical Tiger enthusiasm)". She looked through the window at me and said, "Bless you, Mommy". Yes, He has.

I reminded the boys about a conversation we had yesterday (following Paugie's 2-year-old fit about Daddy leaving for work that morning) about why Daddy goes to work, and how he provides for us to have food/clothing/a house, etc. Madigan's response: "She doesn't have a Daddy to provide for her. She's all alone". He and Paugie waved at her and were delighted to see her feasting upon the cheerios as we passed through the intersection to head home.

A couple minutes later, Madigan noted, "Mommy, I'm hungry. Maybe we should get another snack."