Monthly Archives: March 2010

Seven Years Young.

That’s how old our marriage is.

Seven years ago, Greg “willingly surrendered his testicles” to me. *

Greg stood in a courtroom at the St. Louis County Courthouse and told Judge DePriest that yes, indeed, he would marry the woman who “seemed very nice at first but is actually crazy enough” to cause some members of his family to worry for him and his happiness and to recommend he break off our engagement. **


Bet it sucks to be proven wrong.

Happy Anniversary, Greg! I love you, and I’m grateful you had the good sense to ignore some of the broads in your family. I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else.




*Source:  Terri, my poetic wordsmith of a former mother-in-law.

**Source:  Julie and Eric, Greg’s aunt and uncle, also fine specimens of humanity.

Difficult Lessons to Learn.

Yesterday, Laurel went outside to play with a neighbor boy in the woods.

Ethan desperately wanted to go. He begged me to go. He begged Laurel to let him go.

Laurel did not want him to go.

I could have forced Laurel and her friend to let Ethan tag along, but I respect Laurel’s need for space.

I did not let him go.

Distraught, he scrambled onto my lap for comfort. His heartbroken sobs made me want to cry, too. My only consolation, minute though it was, was knowing he was learning three hard, universal lessons:

  1. Big sisters do not want their little brothers to follow them everywhere;
  2. One is not always welcome to be part of a group; and
  3. Being excluded hurts.

As I held him and wished with every fiber of my being that I could make it better, I realized that parenting is a whole series of little heartbreaks.

But without the heartbreaks, we couldn’t appreciate the joys.


Ethan: “Someday can you and Dad buy a book with a lot of researches in it?”

Michelle: “A lot of…researches?”

Ethan: “Yes. A lot of researches. Researches are like plans. I would like a book with a lot of plans.”

Raised Beds, Phase Two.

Greg dug and dug and dug post holes, both with and without the Bobcat auger (thank you, Jefferson County clay and rock).

during construction day 2

We found all manner of debris beneath the soil in our yard. We heard stories of a car lying somewhere beneath the fill. There are those who say bodies are buried below our yard.

We found this and had to yank it out with the Bobcat:

I wonder when we will find a body buried in our yard - we have found everything else

We measured and cut and bolted and cursed.

And then there were two

And then there were two.

Now we need to cut the posts down and figure out what the hell we’re going to do with our yard…or what is left of it. I predict another Bobcat rental in our future.

Hours of Entertainment.

This almost empty peanut butter can really did occupy Vinnie for a very long time. His head was buried in it most of one morning, I believe.

But then Greg took mercy on Vinnie and cut the can open so Vinnie could reach the far-away peanut butter.

Big softie.

Vinnie is crazy

Raised Beds, Phase One.

Well, you saw the delivery we got the other day.

Today we started our project. Here are a couple of photos – the first taken fairly early in the day (though Greg had done a lot of earth moving by then, as you can see), and the second taken near the end of the day.

Digging holes in this yard is nearly impossible

Day one almost over

If I can’t grow something in this, I might as well hang up my hat.

And Now, For Our Next Trick…

We received a delivery today.

I suppose he was trying to be helpful

Special Delivery

We’re all very excited.

I really thought he was going to pee his pants with excitement

And one of us has learned how to stand when talking to the fellas.

Practicing the 'Good ol' boy standing around shooting the shit' stance

After limping along for a few years with an in-ground garden – in part because we didn’t want to spend the money if we weren’t going to be here long term, we’re building raised beds. BIG raised beds with FANCY soil. Now that’s commitment.

This is going to be a crazy weekend.

Ethan-isms, Part II.

Our beautiful blonde son with the big, innocent eyes has taken to breaking the ice with strangers by saying, “Before I got kickeded out of school…”

Oh, the reactions.

(Yes, kickeded. He makes everything past tense to double-past-tense.)

Two Things:

First of all, Happy Birthdays to Anita (today) and to PawPaw (tomorrow). May your days be free from all cares!

Also, anyone who has been around Ethan lately knows he is absolutely obsessed with outer space. I have fielded more questions about Saturn and Jupiter than I can count. They are, after all, his favorite planets. I’ve tried to address what might happen if the planets suddenly left orbit, how many moons each of the planets have, if the sun rotates like Earth, if we could shoot right through Jupiter’s atmosphere if we had a rocket fast enough, etc., etc. You get the picture.

As you may imagine, it was getting a little old.

But today he said:

“I love you more than the moon is heavy.”

I hope he thinks of a few more questions.