Little darlin’

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This is what a con artist looks like.

Yesterday when I announced that I needed to run to the grocery store, Lillian said, “Oh, please Mommy let me go with you. After all, I am your most darling, and I think your kissses are sweeter than candy.”

Boy, can she work it.

Chip shot

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Yesterday Lillian came out of her bedroom and announced that she put Cliffy to bed for a nap. I said, “Wow! How’d you do that?”

“I laid down with him in his bed and we ate potato chips.”

“You did what?” I exclaimed.

“Relax!” she said, trying to calm me with her expressive hands. “The chips went in his belly, not his bed.” Then she reassured me, “It’s not like his bed is all chippy or something.”


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That’s what I am.

You probably think I either have nothing to say. The truth is, I have too much and no time to tell.

Lent was full of lessons, wonder, sucesses, heartache, failure and ultimately joy (thank you God for Easter!). I want to tell my stories before they leave my feeble brain.

I’m just in a pinch for that all-illusive gift of time. Kids off from school. I’m paralyzed a bit by work deadlines, migrating to a new computer, doctors’ appointments, music lessons, fetching a college student after her first year (and all her stuff–which apparently reproduced), spring cleaning and another approaching “episode” of Saint Mom’s U at St. Joan of Arc. I so often need to catch my breath. And the moments I do that are when I’m crawling on the floor pretending to be a doggy or a kitty with Cliff, or punching out paper dolls with Lillian or talking baseball with Henry and laughing with Mary Claire or texting (sad as that may seem) Helen. I want stop and come here … and I will. I just need some stronger coffee and 48 hours in a day …

A sight to behold

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I looked outside and saw nine-year-old Henry riding his trick bike, wearing black baseball pants that might as well be leggins, no socks, cleats, a black Harley Davidson T-shirt, and a black suede Hop-Along Cassidy vest that is part of a Halloween costume he wore when he was maybe five at the most.

I watched him stop, put one foot down, adjust his banged-up Hot Wheel helmet and look west to admire the sunset. He scanned the sky and found the moon, then looked again at the back-lit clouds. He saw me. Gave me a thumbs up. Pointed to the sky, nodded in approval, got back on that bike and sped around for the last fleeting moments of daylight. He is his father’s son, for sure. Appreciating the beauty of this earth, even on the go. What a gift.

Arm yourself

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After having more than a few rotten days and serious consideration of putting my armor up for sale on ebay, a very tall and holy man suggested I read this prayer. Perfect. Just what I needed. (Well, after I really read it a few times.) I love the ways God works in our lives.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today through God's strength to pilot me.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

Scream on


For Clifford’s second birthday, we are trying to give him the gift of sleep. Well, I’m pretty sure I should start singing “Dream On.”

Scream on

And since it is not working. Take a look at dear S.T. over there on the right. That’s pretty much what Richard and I look like.

We are sleepless. On the edge. Screaming. (Inside, of course.)

But why?

Because last night we were awakened by a loud crash, only to find Cliffy standing on his dresser.  Here we thought we baby-proofed by removing everything what wasn’t nailed down. Apparently putting things out of his reach only entices him to climb to reach. He pulled out the drawers of his dresser and climbed right up like a staircase.

He gets an A for effort. An A for ingenuity. And we get a big fat F for failing to think that he would even do something like that.

Today, on this his final day as a one-year-old, the crib comes down and the mattress will rest safely on the floor until I find a craig’s-list special toddler bed. Every little thing will be removed from the room (and atop the dresser) and we’ll have to see what happens next in the Adventures of Cliff.

Until sleep is granted to all, I will just continue to dream on (as I’m  sure my dear exhausted spouse will as well) that during my busy day, I could catch just a little bit of this:

Dream on

7 off-the-wall Quick Takes

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Seven random things questionably worth sharing.

1. What a piece of junk this thing turned out to be.

Off the wall. Literally.

Sure, my children have proven many times that this Home Depot special could hold more than a dozen bath towels and a couple robes at once. (Never mind that you could barely fit down the hallway.) That darn thing couldn’t handle simple a one-handed, pommel-horse-style mount from a nine-year-old boy? Gee. Henry only weighs 55 pounds, and he wasn’t even running at FULL speed. Hmph.

1. “I see T-Rex. I see bird. I see dinosaur.” Said the boy who doesn’t speak! Yessss. Of course, at this age, Lillian could identify a hexagon over an octagon by name (although the shapes were the same color) and knew a parallelogwam from a twapaziod. BUT she sure couldn’t scale the cabinets to get on the counter in less than 30 seconds or bean you in the head with a matchox car from across the room. We all have our strengths.

3. Some sacrifices are chosen for us. Some we have to make. And most all of them bite.

4. Whatever was stuck on Lillian’s bedroom doorknob yesterday is growing. I think I’ll need a chisel.

5. If you haven’t read Simcha Fisher’s blog. Do. She’s hilarious. And good.

6. Next week can’t come soon enough. I am looking forward to a fresh start.

7. There is no other acceptable version of this song.