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Archive for December, 2010

The Naughty List

December 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Last weekend, the boys had Santa and elf hats on and making naughty and nice lists.  Benjamin had written everyone’s name on the nice list and then started to jump around, landing on Andrea’s bare foot with his sneakers on.  Andrea let out a loud cry in pain, to which Matthew deadpanned, “I guess he is on the naughty list now.”

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Categories: Christmas, Matthew Quotes

Midnight Tempest

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Something a little different…A sonnet.

From darkness depth a midnight tempest crashed!
Senses startled from rest’s peaceful embrace.
In my dazed, sleep-soaked mind the lightning flashed,
Breath escapes me as heart and mind gives chase.
I fall from bed to face the stormy plight,
My body braced against the nighttide’s cold.
Feet carry me towards tempest without light,
A passage taken blindly times untold.
Tiny tempest rolls towards my quiet quest,
Small shimmering spheres slice through the dark.
Sweeping up my boy, I hold him to my chest –
As he  settles in instant contrast stark.
Silence returns as the last sob is drawn.
Together, again, we face morning’s dawn.

I wrote the first draft of this during a boring meeting at work after another long night with Benjamin when he was an infant…I was exhausted and writing was the only thing that was going to keep me awake.

Benjamin had difficulty sleeping on his own as an infant and usually would wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning and we wouldn’t be able to get him to fall back to sleep in his crib.  So, one of us usually spent the rest of the night sitting in a chair and holding him as he slept.  Back then, it was so, so difficult, but now, I look at those quiet early morning memories fondly.  To an extent, I miss them.  When I think of it, I don’t think about how tired I would be…I think about that sweet little baby and he quiet sleeping sounds.

Categories: Growing Up, Poem Tags: , ,

Silent Night in the Brain

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

At Benjamin’s school each child has a little paper ant that hangs on the wall.  When they don’t listen to the teacher or do something naughty, their ant gets turned upside down.  Apparently, Ben’s ant spends a lot of time on his head…He’s a good kid, but he tends to talk a lot more than he listens (he has a lot to say and is stubborn about making sure he gets his thoughts out).  We’ve started working with his teacher and trying to get him to be a better listener and he gives us updates on his ant each day.

On Thursday, he had his ant turned upside down for the first time in a while.  On Friday, he told us that his ant was turned right side up, but that he almost got in trouble.  When we asked why, he said, “I started to make some noises, but then I started to sing Silent Night in my brain.”

A long pause followed.

“Mommy and Daddy, why are you laughing so much?”

(His poor teacher.)

Categories: Benjamin Quotes, Christmas

Fire Engine LEGOs

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Every year, without fail, the story gets told about how, when I was five or six, I asked for “fiwa engine wegos,” for Christmas and the inevitable meltdown on Christmas morning when I discovered that Santa had not brought me the little red fire station with two little fire trucks.  I remember vividly, sitting on the coach, slumped, next to my mom, crying as I stared at the Christmas tree (oh, the drama).  Obviously, it was an upsetting moment for my parents, as well, who had always done absolutely everything they could to make sure Christmas was always special for each of us.  (To this day, I wonder just how they managed to get all those presents, wrap them and get them under the tree for six kids, every year…it truly amazes me.) The day after Christmas, my hero parents miraculously ran into Santa and he gave them one present he had forgotten to give me and all was right in my little world again.  To this day, however, I still feel a twinge of guilt over the whole thing.

I still love LEGO’s and I have a collection that dramatically outweighs my kids collection.  I even went as far as finding that old fire station set from my childhood on eBay (my original set was absorbed into the huge collection of LEGOs my brothers and I had).  And, every Christmas, I set up a small LEGO city with a LEGO train by the Christmas tree.  I always set up that little red fire station as a reminder of how special my parents always made Christmas when I was a kid…a reminder of the sacrifices they made.  Of course, Christmas, for children, is all about the presents and my parents always made that happen, but they also taught me that, to borrow from the good Dr. Seuss, “Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more.”

Since Benjamin was born, the little city went up on the fireplace mantle.  This is the first year since the boys have been around that I set it up under the tree.  Well, as you might expect, the boys gravitated to it and, in great wonder, played with all the little people, cars and building, much like a tornado might.  Matthew, particularly, really became enamored with the setup and really seemed to fall in love with the two fire stations (included in the city is also a much more dramatic fire station).  Between the anxiety attacks of them destroying “my toys”, my heart melted as Matthew played so sweetly with the fire engines, running them in and out of the station doors and creating emergency situations that the fire engines had to rush off to.  In particularly, I was almost moved to tears as his little hands played with the little red station from my childhood with such a sweet smile on his face.

…Until he turned to me and said, “I want fiwa engine wegos for mitmis.”  We are already done shopping for them and fire engine LEGO’s are not among the gifts.  More proof that God does have a sense of humor.

P.S. Thankfully, my mom has once again taken care of the problem, and “fiwa engine wegos” are on their way.

Categories: Christmas, Growing Up, Matthew

End The Pain

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

A couple of years ago, Benjamin received a Rudolph doll that turns his head, lights up his nose and sings “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (naturally).  It is one of his favorite toys.  A few days ago, it surfaced from the Christmas boxes and Benjamin immediately started pestering me to put batteries in it.  However, each time he asked, I was in the middle of something (and I was stalling a little because it is really loud).  Finally, after about the 30th time he asked, I said, “Benjamin, your are starting to become a pain.”

To which, he replied, “Do you know how to stop the pain?  Put batteries in Rudolph.”

Categories: Benjamin Quotes, Christmas

Dinosaurs …How Cute…Oh Wait…

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment


I love this picture by Ben. However, what looks like a sweet picture of some long-necks eating is actually not so sweet.  You will notice that brown object in the sky…that would be the meteor that is about to kill them all.

Categories: Artwork, Observations