Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Lost Tooth & Mixed Emotions

It's totally appropriate that Reed, at seven and a half years old, finally lost his first tooth.  He tends to go about things in his own kind of way.

And it's a good thing...cuz that permanent tooth erupted behind his baby teeth earlier this summer, and those baby teeth weren't budging!  (And if you look closely, you can see that his second permanent tooth has just erupted, too.)

We went to the dentist on Tuesday of this week, and we asked about Reed's shark teeth.  His dentist said that they'd give him a couple months to wiggle those babies out but if he couldn't make it happen, he would need to come back into the office so they could help "encourage" them out.  Reed got to work right away!

And after putting on his jammies last night, he walked out of his bedroom, and spit into his hand.  I was flabbergasted at first ("Are you kidding me right now?!?!") but quickly realized what had happened!

I could tell that he was a hot mess of emotion - although he was holding it together pretty well!  He hasn't been upset at all that he hadn't lost any teeth.  He admitted that he was the only one in first grade that hadn't lost any teeth (and I'd bet he's been the only one this year, too!) and he was super proud of it.  He wasn't in a hurry - at all - to lose any teeth.  Even the excitement of having the tooth fairy come and bring him money wasn't incentive enough for him to want to lose a tooth.  You see, Reed is a keeper.  Of things.  Sometimes even garbage.  So wanting to keep his teeth wasn't too surprising.  However, explaining to him that this wasn't a choice he could make - that was a tough reality for him.

So when he spit that tooth out, I saw an expression of disappointment mixed with excitement.  And that's a tough look to pull off.

Thankfully, everything worked out well.  He very gladly slipped his tooth into his pouch and placed it under his pillow.

And this morning...


I learned later this afternoon that the tooth fairy snuck in before Daddy went to bed!  Reed had woken up, checked his pouch, then wandered into the living room while Brad was still awake to show him the money he'd received.  Sneaky little fairy! 

And thankfully, there was no disappointment when Reed discovered that the tooth fairy takes the tooth when she leaves the money.  Like I said, Reed's a keeper!

Now, to get to work on that second tooth...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


So we had an eventful night last night.

And by "eventful" I mean let's-never-do-this-again kind of excitement.

This wasn't the first time Buddy escaped the indoors and ran himself across the street - as across the street is a dog park that is very much frequented by, welp, dogs. Dogs love dogs.  Not sure if you know this.  So Buddy often sees the dogs through the windows of our house, barks at the dogs, pines for the dogs he sees and cannot play with.  He has maybe escaped through the front door four or five times, when he's been too quick for us to grab when we've opened the door.  And when he escapes, he will very routinely make his way across the street, to the park, and pause at the gate to the dog area, long enough for us to catch up to grab him.

Last night, that's what happened, except with much more flair. And much more fear.

So Brad and Reed were heading out the door to soccer practice, the door barely cracked, when Buddy pushed his desperate self through the opening, and bolted.

Bolted right out the door, and right into the street, just as an oncoming car approached...honked...and smacked right into him.

The sound of car hitting dog is horrific.  My stomach is still on the floor.  It's awful.

I was still inside, heard the smack and Brad yell "NO!"

He said later that he was sure when he turned around Buddy would by lying there, dead.

The next thing we knew, we saw Buddy running through the park, making his way to the dog gate.  It took just long enough for both Brad and I to register what was going on - that Buddy wasn't dead, he wasn't even incapacitated, and that he was running away - that by the time we started chasing him, he was too far ahead, and we lost him.

We spent the next 45 minutes driving through the neighborhood, posting on Facebook, and accepting help from our friends and neighbors to help us look (Brad called in a couple other parents from his soccer team to take over practice for the night so he could help search).  It got to be about 6:45 - darn close to sunset and really close to the general feeling of "what else can we do?" that we gathered ourselves back at home and decided to walk through the dog park until we either found him, or it was dark.  Because we knew he had been hit by the car, but had also seen him bolt across the park, we had no idea how much he was hurt or how far he could've gotten or what his natural instincts would've lead him to do - hide or keeping moving.

We had stopped into the dog park during our neighborhood search and asked the other dog owners who were there with their pets if they had seen Buddy, and if they would keep an eye out for him.  For the record, dog people are good, good people.  Everyone was empathic and helpful.  And when we returned to the park to look again, the word had been passed as there were many other people visiting the park that were keeping their eyes open for him.

So I had the kids, and Brad had driven to the other side of the park to start looking over there.  The dog park is not completely fenced in, so while Buddy couldn't get through the gate that faces our house, there is an open section on the other side that he could've made his way through (hence why we searched the neighborhood - we had no idea if he'd gotten into the park or not).  It made sense that he'd be inside the park, because of all the dogs and scents that can be found there, but again, I really feared that he could be anywhere.  The dog park is half open green space and half wooded area full of paths.  The kids and I began walking down the wooded path, and the kids were calling him name.  We had about a half hour until sundown and we were so desperate to find him.  We passed by a few of the trails that criss-cross through the interior of the wooded area, and decided to stay on the primary path that circles around the outside of the woods.  We got to the back side of the woods, and heard a bark.  A bark that sounded just like Buddy.  For whatever reason, I felt like we had to backtrack just a few steps and take one of those interior paths that we had just passed by.  So we did, and we weren't five steps down that path when Buddy appeared, making his way toward us.

I am certain the he heard the boys calling for him.  I am certain that it was he who barked, answering their call.  And I am certain, that I was lead down that path, right to where he was.

Oh, the joy!

And then.  Then!  To discover that, except for a couple scratches on his arm, we couldn't find any evidence of injury.  No blood, no limp, no whimpering or whining, no nursing of any limbs, no nothing.  He was skittish and shake-y, like he sometimes can be when he's scared or nervous, but no signs of any physical harm.  No sign, at all, that he had been hit by a car an hour earlier.  And I assure you, he was hit.  Because the sound.  It still horrifies me.  We feared for internal injuries, of course, but decided to keep an eye on him through the evening and see how he was in the morning.

This morning, then, he was slow to get out of his kennel, and seemed like he was sore and taking extra precaution when carrying himself.  But he ate breakfast as he normally does, and as far as we can tell, is perfectly normal.

Absolutely amazing.

We don't know much about Buddy's history - he came to us last fall at five years old after being taken from his former owner's home and given to a shelter - but I have a hunch, that whatever he has experienced in his short, little life, it has made him a survivor.

Because wow.  This guy shouldn't even be here right now.

I have never been happier that he is.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

So Very, Very Sad

It was so sad.
So very, very sad.

Ruby and I got to spend a little extra time with Drew yesterday morning, when we pulled him out of school for an orthodontist appointment (more on that some other time).  We even got to take him out for lunch before returning him to school for the afternoon.  But when we dropped him off, things got sad.  So very, very sad.

She cried.  And cried and cried and cried.  And ran after her Drew and gave him a big hug, and cried and cried some more.

"I want my Drew!  I want my Drew!"

All the way home.

Which is only a mile.  But still.

These pictures don't quite capture her anguish.  We'd just gotten back home and I was trying not to be mean about taking photos of my heartbroken baby.

But goodness.  She was sad.  So very, very sad.

Thankfully, Judy Hopps was on standby.

Whatever it takes, my friends. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

On Turning 37

Getting older is just weird.

You'll generally hear me lament about the passage of time when it comes to the kids - usually around their birthdays or the beginning of a new school year.  And I especially had a bit of a rough time when Brad celebrated his 40th this year.  It's one thing to have my kids grow in size and advance in age, but it's an entirely new ballgame when my husband - my peer - has a milestone birthday!

I'm not at all sad or angsty about leaving 36 behind.  I'm perfectly okay with 37 (although I have a hunch 38, 39, and the big 4-0 won't come so easily).  But more and more, I'm finding myself particularly in tune with what it means, and what my experience is, in getting older.  And it's just weird.

Weird because I don't necessarily feel 37.  True, I don't know what 37 feels like; this is my first time here.  It's kind of an odd sort of twilight zone experience, where I'm clearly in tune with my younger self - I remember her and her experiences and think of her as being not that far away.  But then, when I do the math, I realize that the Lesley I think I left behind just a couple years ago, graduated from high school 18 years ago.  Holy cats.  And to ice that cake, I often think of myself at the ages my kids are (especially the boys, at nine and seven) and that younger Lesley - well, she's darn near dust.  I remember the first time I found myself saying "Twenty years ago..." and actually remembering 20 years ago.  Now, I can say "Thirty years ago..." and have the same sort of surreal experience.  That's just weird, y'all.

And then, in an especially morbid turn of events, the passage of time in the twilight experience has me thinking about myself into the future - specifically, how much time I have left.  With it, comes the heavy (and this is where some angst comes in) realization that time may not be on my side.  My life may very well be half over.

{Now you all are feeling very weird.  Sorry about that.}

Let's just say longevity doesn't read much on my genetic code.

Hmmmm.  I don't really know where I'm going with this.  Just, time is passing.  We're all getting older.  And when they say "time flies" they really mean it.  I'm in a place where I'm evaluating and discovering and wondering and sensing and trying to figure out what it all means.  Here.  For me.  At 37.  I guess it's never too late for self-discovery.

Here's to embracing growing older.


As for my birthday, it was a really great day.  Church with friends, Culver's with my family, an afternoon spent receiving messages from and Skyping with those that mean the most.  The evening spent with friends, as we usually do on Sunday nights.  And some negotiating on purchase agreements for our house.


What's this?

Yep.  Our house is on the market.  More about that later. 


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Another New Start

*heavy sigh*

So.  Hi.  Been a while, right?  I know.
I'm not that happy about it, either.
I want you to know that I'm working on it.  I want to catch up even more than you want me to catch up.  Believe me.  And I have hopes and plans to get it done.  I likely won't let you know when I post past stories, so if you're inclined, occasionally scroll down or check the sidebar.  This space is important to me.  I hope to make it a priority again.

Welp.  We did it.  We survived summer.  Even the last two and a half weeks, which were r.o.u.g.h.  Oofta.  But we woke up this morning with renewed energy and enthusiasm, as we welcomed Drew's fourth grade year and Reed's second grade year!  Woohoo!

This guy is super excited about second grade!  He loves his friends and he loves being at school and he's really looking forward to having the teacher he's been assigned to.  He woke up with a big smile on his face and a subtle sort of buzz about his first day.  

He's a bit of a minion fan.

And this stud.  He's growing up, in both stature and maturity.  Still a 9-year-old, through and through, but maturing into quite the young man.  He won't admit to being as excited as Reed is about his first day, but I have a hunch he's looking forward to it.  He has his first ever male teacher, which will be fun and new, and the majority of his buddies are in his class - which we're hoping will be an asset to both Drew and his teacher, and not a liability!  

After his backpack took a beating last year, with more books and supplies toted back and forth everyday, we knew we'd have to graduate from the cheap character bags to the studly-er, big-man-on-campus backpacks.  Drew's favorite colors are black and red, so he's loving this beauty, and after the first two stores fell short, we found the camo lunch bag he wanted at Target.

With a forecasted high of 90 today, with a heat index making it feel like 94... I hope no one melts in our 90 year old, non-air-conditioned school!!

I escorted the boys to school (like I do everyday) and dropped them off in their rooms.  There were so many kids and so many parents throughout the school that I said quick good-byes and saw myself out the door.  Super thankful to have confident, comfortable kids as well as an incredibly fun and safe school for them to go to!

(Annnnnddd he's growing up so much he's telling me "no" when I ask for a picture.  So I took one anyway.)

So, I guess the next question is, what did Ruby and I do all day?  Answer:  absolutely nothing.  And it was rad.

First day of school dinner tradition:  Culver's.  Because duh.

I've learned that I have to be super specific when it comes to asking the boys questions about their day.  That's certainly one of the things I'm not so fond of as they grow older: they begin to clam up.  In summary, they both had great days.  And Drew will have no homework all year long.  He's pretty dang excited about that.

Hello, 2016-2017 school year.

We're so excited you're here.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Seven is Good

Reed had a big, big day yesterday.
He turned seven years old.
And he performed in the school talent show and got the biggest laughs.
Which also means that dinner out on his birthday had to be postponed until tonight.
Which also also means that the celebratin' just keeps going, on and on.

But first.  Yesterday.  The big day.
Up and ready for school in record time so he could tear into those gifts.

We are all pretty stoked about the fully illustrated editions of Harry Potter.  I *may* have had an ulterior motive in giving this to Reed...but rest assured, he did ask for it!!

Oh man.  The thrill.

I'm finding that I love to surprise the boys in this way: giving them something they honestly don't think they're going to get.  It seems as though it's every day that the boys are telling me about yet another video game that they just have to have.  It kinda drives me batty.  And of course I'm not just gonna go buy them whatever they want.  But for their birthdays...I try to make a little bit of magic happen.

So Reed's been wanting the Disney Infinity 3.0 starter set - primarily because he wants the Inside Out characters, which are not compatible with the 1.0 edition (of course) we already own (of course).  Here's the problem...because we already have the 1.0 set, we already have the universal game portal that comes with all of the new edition starter sets.  I don't want to buy what I already have.  So, I had to do a little bit of research, and learned that I could purchase just the game DVD (thank you, Amazon) without having to also purchase the game portal (not to mention, the three characters that come with the starter set are Star Wars dudes, and we're not much into Star Wars around here - at all - so that would be an additional waste of money on more things we don't really want).

So in being able to do all of that, Mr. Reed got what he wanted for his birthday!

Which is awesome for him, but also awesome for me.  This kiddo is hard to shop for, so finding exactly what he wants and being able to buy it for him ... win/win.

And clearly, Drew is quite thrilled, too.  So win/win/win.

Last night, then, was the school's spring talent show, of which both boys participated in, and because of that, we spent the entire evening at school (more on that soon).

So tonight, in true family style, Reed elected to go to Culver's for dinner.

Yummy yum yum.

Reed isn't a big cake lover, so he requested a full sheet of brownies, please.

Anything for you, sweet boy.

Happy birthday, Reed!
You are one of a kind!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Sweetest Seven Years

Thanking God today for everything that is sweet and snuggly, free-spirited and brave, tender and caring, and wonderfully wacky. Thanking God today for putting all of that into this little man. Thanking God today for the sweetest seven years. Happy Birthday, Reed!