A view of things to come.

20 06 2011

We took the Sunshine boys to Weeblo (the crazy name which stands for “We Be Loyal” Scouts, for those of you who are novices) Camp this weekend.   The boys have had one sleepover.   This is pretty much the first time they have been away from home without one of us.   They are there through tomorrow night and they are fine. 

I would like to say I am doing as fine as they seem to be, however, that would a totally bald-faced lie.   I feel as I did the day I dropped them off at kindergarten, minus some of the teariness.  

 They are in the back row, third and fifth from the left.  Sunshine Boy #1 with his (non regulation) camo fishing hat and Sunshine boy #2 trying to get his fingers up into the surfer dude pose and wearing his headlamp in broad daylight.  Typical of both boys, really. 

 I wonder how they are doing.   I wonder what they are doing.  Are they keeping the EpiPen with them?   Are they remembering the sunscreen and to check for ticks?   Are they checking the food they eat to make sure it doesn’t have nuts?  Do they have the Benadryl in case they need it?  Did they pass the swim test?   Are they bickering?   Are they remembering their manners?   Have they been taking their Zrytec?   I’ll spare you the 10,000 other questions I wonder about, you get the idea. 

I have been staying out of their room, though it would be a perfect time to ambush the pigsty and whip it into shape.   It is so lonely, empty, and lacking them, I just can’t seem to even go in there.   Those two bicker like an old married couple–one with a pro-wrestling background–but they also laugh and say such funny things.   I miss the noise they bring to the house.  I miss how they entertain and occupy their sister.

These days have given me a preview of things to come.   They are getting older and wanting and needing to do things on their own and I am realizing how lonely it will be without their noise and their presence.   Although I’ve got a few years yet and I’m sure there will be LOTS of noise in between, I want to hang onto this busy, loud, and special time.   I cannot count how many people told me it fly past and I would miss it when it was gone.   I can’t say I believed many of them, especially when it was said while a baby was screaming in my ear.  

Turns out those people knew what they were talking about and I am missing it already.


The one where things are listed

12 08 2010

Super LtothAtotheMtotheE right?   Right.   I’m doing it anyway.

  • Summer.  Can you believe it is almost OVER?  Two weeks from yesterday and the kids will be back in school.    As always I have mixed feelings about this…too many to list
  • Knitting.  Been working on lots of things…too many to list.  Here are my favorites.  Join Ravelry to learn more….A few of my favorite knits
  • Bad/sad news.  Really world, I’m quite sick of it.  Please knock.it.off.   Whether it is people getting sick, passing away, or having generally junky stuff happen, it needs to stop.   Hear me???   Again, really too much to list.
  • Sewing.  I’ve been doing some sewing.  Found some AWESOME sheets at Goodwill–a sheet set from Tommy Hilfiger  and just another neat one.  The TH ones became summer play clothes for Sunshine daughter and a dress.   The other sheet is waiting patiently to become new PJ pants for me.  Using the sheet to become pants, is the most awesome sewing trick, b/c there are NO HEMS at the bottom of the pants!  Yeah!!!
  • I’ve been reading AND logging the books with the HP Library book club.  Total geek.  Favorites so far: Once upon a Marigold & Eat Pray Love.   I’ve been hitting the Goodwill and buying way too many books and STILL going to the library for more books.   Man I do love to read….
  • Running.  Wish I could say I was breaking speed records….I can’t.  I haven’t run in a long time.   Hoping the weather cools down a little or I start hauling my fat keister out of bed earlier so I actually get out and run.   I’d feel better, so why am I not doing it?
  • Kids.  The kids are crazy and loveable all at the same time.  All are healthy (thank God!) excepting allergies.    Sunshine sons are going into third grade and Sunshine daughter is going into Kindergarten.   They alternately got on each other nerves and were playing wonderfully.  We didn’t do much this summer and that is OK.  (No, really it is.)  Money is tight and frankly, I’m a bit sick of camping, so we stayed home.  We went to the Sunday concerts and did a whole lot of nothing.   For the boys it might be the last summer of nothing.

Bullets, love ’em or hate ’em, they are useful.   I know, its still LtotheAtotheMtotheE.

Not my true country

27 07 2010

Just last evening, DH and I heard some heart-wrenching news.   An old and very dear friend took his own life.   After first hearing the news last night, I felt sort of numb and untouched by it all.  DH was hit harder and shed tears over the sudden and tragic loss of his dear friend.  Twenty-four hours after receiving the news of his death, I am still in shock.  I’ve wandered around the house today not really knowing what to do or even what I wanted to do.

I met Nick over 12 years ago.  Before we were married, DH and I traveled to his alma mater and went to his fraternity/college reunion weekend.   I met a lot of his brothers.  I was welcomed by every single one.  Welcomed even though most of them hadn’t seen DH in 5 years and never met me before.    The group of brothers, led by Nick and DH, serenaded me at their farewell picnic.

Nick was soft-spoken yet unafraid to voice his opinion.  He was willing to listen to your troubles and lend his ear, his heart, and whatever other resources you might need.  He is much loved and will be well and surely missed.   A t-shirt with jeans, help you move in exchange for some beer, all-around, fantastic kind of guy.  My husband will miss him more than I can really explain.  They were brothers by choice.

Based on the way Nick and all the Promethean brothers welcomed me into their family, I know Nick’s wife and daughter will be wrapped in love.    Each brother who knew or met Nick and those that didn’t will adopt Kim and Shannon and give them love, caring, and whatever is needed.   All grief is different and I cannot fathom their grief.  I do know the brothers of Prometheus will be the salve to begin the healing.

I hope and pray you are at peace.  Smile and be sure to check in on us every once in a while.   I’ll miss you!

Mary, Jamie, & Nick

Mary, Jamie, Nick

“Do not weep for me,
This is not my true country, I have lived banished from my true country—I now go back there,
I return to the celestial sphere where every one goes in his turn.”

–Walt Whitman

First Day of School

8 09 2009

Dear Sunshine Daughter,

You started school today and you were very happy.  Ridiculously, over-the-top, love-it-like-chocolate, happy.   I want you always feel that happiness when you think about school.    Some years will be hard.   People will tease you (hell, your brothers will tease you!).   But I know the excitement you felt getting into your uniform, getting your backpack & lunch ready gave you a great head start for all the years of school you have before you.   First day of school

Your teacher and co-teacher will be wonderful, of that I have no doubt.   I know you make them laugh, smile, and sometimes shake their heads with the crazy wonderfulness that is you.  I’ve had four years of it.     They will hold a very special place in your heart.    You will have a special place in their heart too. 

You are the baby of our family.   I am the oldest of my family.  Sometimes, because of that, we clash.    Your father and brothers let you “get away” with many things.   I let things slide with you.   As the youngest, you tend to exploit the…advantages your birth order has brought.   Hey, I understand.  Life can be hard.  Brothers can be mean.  A girl has to do what a girl has to do.  I get it.   Despite this and general parent/child clashes, I have  loved every moment of my time home with you. 

I must tell you however, today was a very difficult day for me.   I was not happy.  I knew it would be hard, but I was not and actually as the second day approaches, am still not, prepared for your absence.  I have spent the last seven years feeding, cleaning, fetching, caring, reading, cuddling, disciplining, and who knows what else for you and your brothers.  Some days, it was annoying and hard as hell.   Sometimes I resented it.   Most of the time, I just moved onward, in a kid induced, sleep deprived haze. 

When I got home today,  though it was just me.  I could eat breakfast without a dissertation on Dora versus Deigo.  I could go to the bathroom without awkward questions to answer.   I could listen to NPR without hearing how you HATE talking–despite doing it all the time.   I could do anything I wanted.  It was just me.   Just. Me. Alone.

“They” tell you time goes fast and one day you’ll be grown up.    “They” tell you that one day, you’ll miss all this stuff.  Struggling through babydom, toddlerville, and THREE hell, I didn’t believe “them”.    I believe them now.   Now my kids are school age and I am home wondering what to do, how not to feel useless without you here.  I cried…most of the day.

Leaving you at school was one of the hardest things I have done in my seven years of parenting.   Every inch of me wanted to say, “No. No, I don’t think she’ll be staying today…this year.”   But, as you  hugged me goodbye & walked to your name labeled spot on the rug–still smiling–I wiped my tears away, gave you another wave, and left you at school for your first day.   I was not ready.   You?  You were ready. 

Your first day?   “AWESOME!”    You were fine.  I told you, it was me that wasn’t ready to let you go.  Other details of your first day?  You finished your lunch before everyone else, even though no one could start till everyone was sitting down.  The only math you know is 1+1 = 2.  You can’t wait to go back for more school.  

Thank you Sunshine Daughter for teaching me for the past four years.     Although I still don’t want to let you go tomorrow, I will.   Just remember:  You are a trooper.   You are a princess.  You are pink on the outside, but a tough cookie on the inside.  You can do whatever you want in life–army recruiter, astronaut, mom, or all three!   No matter what, breathing gets you through. 



Smores…the new cupcake

28 07 2009

Hazy Day on Hanging Rock


We are in search of the “perfect” campground.   A place to return to each year, one with hiking, swimming, canoeing, quiet, good weather, you get the idea.  We’ve gone to the Price Park on the Blue Ridge, Badin Lake, Morrow Mountain (well, sort of…), Claytor Lake in Virginia, Goose Point in Virginia,  and this year: Hanging Rock.   Although HARO (as the NC Park system affectionately labels everything) won’t be our “perfect” week long campground, it will be our “we’ve-got-t0-get-out-of-town-but-we’re-broke-and-HARO-is super-close” campground.  

If you know of any campgrounds in NC, lower VA, or SC, spill.   We prefer the cheap frugal non commercial state campgrounds, but we’d be open to a small family owned campground too. 

Tom takes over the Canoe

Tom takes over the Canoe

That sounds negative.   It isn’t.  Hanging Rock is close by (just over an hour) and there is hiking and a lake (though you have to pay, even if you’re camping–NOT cool) for swimming and boating.   The staff is nice and there are a few programs for the family and for kids.  4 out of 5 stars on the Sunshine camping scale.    We’re still looking for that perfect campground, but in the meantime, we’ve found a darn great close getaway.   And if you happen to be stranded at the visitor’s center will young children, there is an air conditioned room with 20 minute videos they will show.   Thank you Hanging Rock for a GREAT vacation! 

The thing I like best about camping is the ability to just do nothing.  Sit around at camp and read, sleep, knit, chill out, play solitaire, whatever.   This was the first time where I got to do that.   I read some Jane Austen (Emma), knit (Silk Kercheif), and just drank coffee with no goal in mind.   It was, for the first time, what a camping vacation is supposed to be….relaxing.  

We hiked up to Hanging Rock, the Upper Cascade waterfall, the Window Waterfalls, and the Hidden Waterfalls.   All were good hikes but they made me realize once again what a massive worrier I have become when it comes to the kids & my husband.  Of course the signs that read “serious injury & death may result” don’t help much either. 

(L): Midway up to Hanging Rock.   This rock was just sitting in the middle of the forest.  Very cool, but bizarre how nature works.
(R) Sunshine kids in front of Upper Cascade Falls.  
Those goofy Sunshines!

Of course it was not all perfection on our trip, but the tent stayed dry, the worst injuries were bug bites and sunburn (me!), and we all ended up home safe and sound…though all in need of a bath!

So, whatcha been doonin?

15 04 2009

Ignore my bad grammar.  

I’ve been twittering or is it tweeting?   Anyway, the other social media have been taking over my life..or at least spring break.   So sad…but still entertaining.   I’ve begun thinking in 140 characters or less. 

So let me fill you in on what has been going on.  Besides Twitter, I’ve been working on PTA stuff.  Did I tell you about PTA?  No?  I must have been trying to block that out.  I’ve been the PTA prez at the Sunshine boys school for a year.  I’m also delusional enough to have signed up for another year.  Crazy,fun, exasperating stuff but surprisingly addictive.  

Family Fun Day–the biggest school fundraiser we have–took up most of my Feb and all of March.  Check out the parade and pictures!

Sunshine Boy #1 marches in Peace Parade

Three cowboys & a pony

Sunshine daughter will be going to Pre-Kindergarten next year.  Sad times yet joyful too.   Now, I need to get a birth certificate to prove I didn’t just pluck her from the cabbage patch.  Hopefully the price of that document didn’t go up since she was plucked born four years ago.   Some days I wonder how those teachers are going to put up with her 4 yr old going on 15 yr old self.  Then I remember they’ll have a room full of ’em.  Makes me glad I don’t teach. 

Sunshine Boys # 1 & 2 had their 7th birthday a week ago.   Every parent says this, but WOW, I can’t believe it has been that long.  I miss the little bitty boys I snuggled.  Every so often I get a glimpse of them and it makes me sad.   I looked in on one two weeks ago and he looked exactly like he used to as a baby.   So serene and kissable.   Here are their cakes:  Space Shuttle & Lego Rock Monster.   Space Shuttle Cake

Lego Rock Monster--Firox

Weight Watchers…wow.  Been gaining and losing the same weight.  STILL.  There is no try.   I’ve not even been trying.  Time to write it and behave like an adult.   Bad habits are hard to break after almost 36 years.  Excuses I know.   Say something to kick me in the a$$ (about the weight loss anyway!). 

Happy Easter!   Here are some of the pictures of the day.   The church really cleared out quick this year and hubby was left holding the camera.  



Thanks for reading the brain dump at Land o’Sunshine.  Hopefully more cohesive thoughts will come since Family Fun Day has ended and the year is slowly drawing to a close….  Have a wonderful spring…happy itching & sneezing!

As for knitting.  I’ve been working on stuff, but have not been using Rav.   I knit the shrug Sunshine daughter is wearing.  It is the Jane Austen Shrug from Knitting Outside the Lines from MDK.  Great little pattern–through check the errata or you’ll think you’re going crazy.  Ask me how I know.   There’s been other stuff, but nothing spectacular.   My knitting mojo is off twittering somewhere….

Open Letter

1 02 2009

Dear Children,

I love you.   I really, really love you.   You are funny, smart, kind and good kids.  

However, your six and four year old selves are driving me crazy.   If we are going to live in this house for the next 14-16 years, here are some friendly reminders: 

  • When I ask you to pick something up, I mean pick it up THEN, not sometime in the future or a to-be-determined date. 
  • Stay out of my craft supplies, scrap-booking materials, yarn, and basically anything else that might be piled up on my messy little space.  
  •  YOU MUST GO TO CHURCH!   Its my job to get you there and teach you something.   I don’t want to go all the time either.  Really.   It is worth it though. 
  • Please pick up your socks.   Better yet, keep them on your feet. 
  • Play nicely and stop the bickering.   Is it the cold weather and being stuck inside?  I sympathize, but seriously.
  • To the male children,  be nice to the girl.  She adores you.  
  • To the girl, STOP WHINING!   Ack.   That is why they don’t want to play with you.  
  • PLEASE, please, please use a napkin to wipe your hands & mouth at dinner, NOT your clothes.   Let’s try to not recreate the ninth century at the kitchen table, ‘kay?
  • The words please and thank you go a LONG way.  Please use them, thank you. 

Dear children, I say write this to you so our lives will be pleasant and peaceful.   I love you.   Thank you for all the things you teach me and putting up with all the quirky things I do. 


Your mother