All's Fair

We left the fair well past bedtime, with filthy shoes and a small dent in Andy's wallet. We don't often commit to things like sugar and breaking rules, but when we go to the fair, it's different.
It's different, and also the same : we go to the fair and order the same food and take the same pictures and see the same animals. It's become a way to watch the boys grow, to measure their bodies and their brains against time.
We left right about the time optimism levels felt low, sprinkled with powdered sugar and smelling like grease, smiling.




giant space

Sometimes everything feels just a fine hair from catastrophe.
Sometimes I have to remind myself, especially when it comes to parenting, that there is a giant space between simple mistake and complete failure.

*Register now for this years Battling Batten 5K & Family Walk!
See the "Current Fundraisers" tab above for more details and a link to the registration page.


down home

We left Poppy's on old 35, headed north along the Kanawha River, crossing back into Ohio. Hank slept and the boys watched a Disney movie and while Andy drove I noticed the scenery, the cows and the uncrowded lanes, the sleepy service stations and the above ground pools and the crosses and the ice cream parlors.
When we're in West Virginia, the idea of wild and wonderful feels almost redundant -- not enough soap and too much sugar, skinks and toads, fishing poles and four wheel drive. Plus, fresh peach pie and homemade french fries and the best half-baked pizza around.
When the boys were not eating like kings, they were outside. The landscape feels alluring, almost exotic - to me and to Andy, but also to our city born sons. Studded with lakes and shrouded by conifers there is unclaimed dirt from which to dig treasure, flowers you're allowed to pick, free to anyone with a pair of scissors or a pocket knife, plenty of fresh air and freedom. And grandparents with loose rules about critters in the kitchen and tight hugs when it's time to leave.


He is full of wonder and opinions and plans.

Downstairs, bright and early, with an ink pen tattoo on his arm: I must’ve sleep drawed on myself.

Regarding a new party favor kazoo, from the backseat: How do you tune this thing?

The best thing about a whoopee cushion is when you make a fart it doesn’t stink! 

Helping in the kitchen, considering things like the pineapple corer and applesauce strainer, etc.: Roro has a lot of fruit tools.

Studying my french braid: Mom, you don’t usually have so many knots in your hair.

In response to Andy picking up a bunch of overtime shifts: Dad is the gone-iest. 

I know how to make an animal umbrella. You just need a snake and a turtle. Lemme draw one for ya. 


dreams, and during

There is always the danger of becoming consumed by a dream as it begins to come true.

I mean, not that I really dreamed about mudrooms.  I dreamed about growing up to takeover Katie Couric's job.  I dreamed about marrying Andy and having babies. And then I dreamed about babies who would be born healthy and live happily.
One of the things we've been able to do in the process of turning what used to be a carport into a closed garage is add an entrance from the garage into the house.  (see part of Andy, standing there in the door frame?)  The new door will lead right into what used to be the master bedroom, but will now serve as a mudroom slash laundry room.  (The new master bedroom will be on the second floor, above the new garage space.)
Recently, Andy took Tolliver in the truck with him to answer a Craigslist ad for an old double basin sink taken from a home economics classroom.  It is white porcelain enamel with a washboard on one side, and I can almost picture myself standing in that room, scrubbing grass stains from pants while I catch the tail end of the boys as they run into the woods to play.

So far, my favorite thing about the new house is who I get to live there with. Well, them and the idea of a room where we can keep their shoes and coats and backpacks...  Still, I'm trying to spend way more time with the people I love than thinking about the house where we'll live.
^carport/garage area before^
old master/new mudroom, below
 ^Andy's face when he found more original hardwood laid in a parquet pattern #bringingitback
 And ^^ the family that moved in before us --
they've hatched, and the builder left one new window out until they're fully fledged