When Celia is Away...

... the dog will play. And so will the parents, when most of their work is done.
I wanted to use the blog title: "Buttsledding"... Jenni said "no." But the picture clearly shows buttsledding. What you as the reader may not appreciate is the blazing speed and the significant air that was obtained on the third and final run. Napoleon Dynamite would have been proud.

We had a wonderfully productive day, while Celia played with her grandparents. Jenni has a bit of "nesting" fever, so we consulted "the list" several times, and were able to make significant progress in crossing things off said list. Shelves were built, pictures were hung, paint was ... um... painted. So, we made time to take Colby out in the snow, even though it wasn't on "the list." Colby was appreciative, and is now exhausted. And we enjoyed time together, out of the house, and even shared a few laughs with (and at) each other... Laughing is good.
And so is buttsledding. And no, we don't own a sled, nor do we need one. Our butts work really well.


A Batch of CEB

Her milky white skin, her apple-puckering lips and cherry red cheeks.
Her gleeful squeals, laced with honey.
Her propensity to chug mango juice by the orchard.
Her stubbornness, slow as a new bottle of ketchup, to go to bed at night.
Her strawberry locks and her meaty thighs.
Her sugary, open-mouthed kisses.

All these ingredients combine to make the perfect little girl....

Mmmm. She is the icing on our cake.



Glimpses of Glee

Dear Followers of the Betz Family,

Her mommy’s gentle voice and her daddy’s up-in-the-air tosses have been reliable ways to bring a smile to Celia’s face, but our gleeful little girl plays hard-to-get these days. Last week while Celia was visiting, we captured some happy faces, and a peanut-buttery mouth to share with her many admirers…

Grandma Rosie and Grandpa Rod


Arab Proverb

Every beetle
is a gazelle
in the eyes
of its mother.



It's the Hard Knock Life

Obviously, Annie's got nothin' on these red curls:
The sun likely won't come out tomorrow, at least in these parts. Our neighborhood dressed in another thick layer of snow yesterday, pulling it on about as quickly as I could pull on a fleece hoodie...But, we have sunflowers on the mantle, to remind us that brighter days may come.
And we may not be livin' on Easy Street these days, but as Annie says, "I don't need sunshine now to turn my skies to blue. I don't need anything but you."


Olentangy Overnight

Sometimes, lately, I get to spend the night with my grandparents on the weekend. I don't usually sleep through the night, so when I go to my grandparents, Mommy and Daddy get to catch up on sleep, and I get to play and Grandma and Grandpa don't mind.
When I go to G'pa Tim and G'ma Jan's, we watch movies with my Great Aunts Sally and Angie. Or we watch the Buckeyes; they taught me that if you stop the Fiesta Bowl when the Buckeyes are ahead, a couple minutes before the end, then the Buckeyes win! G'pa Tim and G'ma Jan and Sally and Angie play hard, and sometimes they wear me out. So, I cuddle with them and nap. I think I wear them out, too.
And then when it's really bedtime, G'pa Tim and G'ma Jan let me sleep in their big bed. I get to sleep right in the middle, with people who love me on both sides. The bed is so big I sometimes forget where I am when I wake up. G'ma Jan makes me blueberry pancakes for breakfast. And last weekend she invited my cousin Vanessa to come play with me, and we read books together.
I love spending the night with my grandparents and Mommy and Daddy don't look so tired when they pick me up!




We've all seen this before. (Except maybe for the Mac lovers out there...) Those of us with a stubborn PC habit have uttered plenty of four letter words in the name of Bill Gates when this screen ruined our day. Of course the dreaded "Blue Screen of Death" had horrible timing. My theory is that Gates somehow used his super-computing-geekiness to analyze, calculate and predict Murphy's Law since I only experienced the blue screen in the last few critical moments of working on a paper or presentation.

No big deal though, right? Three key strokes was the cure. Ctrl+Alt+Del. It even seemed to work a little better if you hit Ctrl+Alt+Del really hard (I think my old PC with Windows 95 could actually feel the pain).

Wiki describes blue screens as: "... caused by physical faults such as faulty memory, power supply issues, overheating of components, or hardware running beyond its specification limits"

Too bad life doesn't have a Ctrl+Alt+Del function. The Betz family has experienced a physical fault... one erroneous gene... one malfunctioning protein.

We don't have a keystroke to restart life. She is flawed, yet she's flawless.




She may not be able to keep going and going, but what she lacks in skills she more than makes up for in beauty.


With Warm Regards

Dear Old Man Winter,

Thank you for the enticement to stay in our pajamas all day, for the chance to cuddle and drink cocoa and watch the flakes fall, for the summons to relax and enjoy the fresh mantle of white.
Jenni, Andy, Celia and Colby


An Invitation

I have some favorites. There was the one that started "Jennifer Elizabeth and James Andrew, together with our parents..." from about six years ago. And then a really special one, for a really special little girl's first birthday, that used this photograph:

We've been issued an invitation recently. It's not the kind to which you can RSVP regrets. It will require twenty four/seven attendance, and attire isn't an issue, as long as we're cloaked in courage. It isn't fair. But, we have to do it. It's impossible. Impossible, impossible. But we will do it. We'll saddle up and ride. And we know many of you, our blog readers, will be riding with us, will carry part of our load, will be behind us all the way. And that will make the journey less burdensome.

And good hair days, those help when you've been invited somewhere -whether you're eager or hesitant to go - too, right?



All Through the Night

(posted Sunday afternoon by Grandma Rosie posing as Andy & Jenni)

When we are fortunate enough to have Celia for a sleepover, we play her favorite lullabyes. Some nights we sing more
than we sleep, but this weekend Celia's had sweet dreams... at least I think that's why we've been treated to so many of her throaty little laughs.

It's no wonder. Celia got to watch Noggin (and football) with G'Rod and play Bubblewash (in and out of the tub) with G'Ro. Grandma Jan even ventured out on an ic
y winter afternoon to come and play for awhile.

Dreams carry us away to special times and places, so Celia might just have been dreaming about the oh-so cold, but oh-so fun night she took us to Wildlights at the Zoo. As her Aunt Kate would say, "Celia loves an aquarium!"
This afternoon Celia is snuggling with Grandpa Tim, which may be the stuff of more sweet dreams tonight. I hope so.

Celia will be snug in her own bed, but G'Rod and I will still be hearing those familiar melodies -- "Love, to thee my thoughts are turning, all through the night."


Memory Lane

A walk. A stroll. A trip.

Forgive me... I can't help but go. I'm afraid I may be otherwise engaged at a more appropriate time (like when Celia turns 2, and her sibling is due) but it's a path you don't really plan to take, rather it takes you. I've been taken, recently, by lots of memories. Celia is 22 months old today. She's a big girl. A toddler, even though she doesn't toddle.
At 9 months, she began a brief affair with language. She waved and said "hi" to everyone and everything. She had a way of capturing the attention of everyone in a room with that one word. She had us all at "hello"...

She also courted the word "shoe," pointing out shoes wherever we went, and I often replay in my mind the way she made that little 'sh' sound. I hope my memory of her laugh doesn't fade before she finds it again. There were things that invariably made her laugh - blowing in her hair, spinning her around, a sniffing, puckered-lip expression we called the "silly face," tossing her on the couch (there's video on YouTube - CEB Couch Toss - that Andy revisited recently, describing her laughter as "riotous." He misses it, too).She used to spend lots of time in front of the mirror. She shared her toys with her mirror friend, and did some of her best walking when she headed toward the mirror.

Today we don't hear words or laughter. We miss the smiles and the steps. The intervening months have required courage and caused tears - they're not months I'll want to revisit. I imagine caring for a typical two year old may require courage and cause tears, but perhaps in different quantities and for different reasons. Until things improve, though, we have good memories and are willing to be taken back to them...



All "Spruced" Up

Actually, it's time to kick the tree to the curb and 'un-spruce' the house, to pack away the fancy Christmas dresses and finish writing thank you notes... but before doing so, we captured some more obligatory holiday photos of Celia while she was all decked out or all spruced up or whatever.
Aside from some wonderfully generous and genuinely thoughtful Christmas gifts, what we're most thankful for this year are things that aren't material. That's not to say we consider the tangible gifts immaterial or insignificant. But the gifts that can't be shopped for, or even handmade, were some of our favorites this year.
Dr. Seuss wrote,
"Maybe Christmas, he thought, d
oesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."

This holiday season, our more came as time with lots of family, some new heart parts for Grandpa Tim, and a little girl who's relearning what it's like to sleep at night. These things are awesome. They weren't really on our wish lists, but they are huge gifts. And so is she: