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My two favorite pictures of me this summer…

The first one was a shot taken by Tony while we were at The Range. I’m shooting an XD9 Subcompact from a bench rest. I love that gun and adore shooting.

This one is from back in June during Colonial Beach’s Potomac River Festival. I look awful but, it was one of the happiest days of the summer. We were surrounded by friends and family and it was just a good weekend.


Continuation of a day…

The first half of my day is here.

By the time Kyrsie and Papa left, Tre was heading towards tired. He pushed a car around, watched a video or two. (Yes, he watches videos, he has favorites and if you play the CD instead of the video he gets mad at the television.) Eventually the tiredness overcame him.

Little man walked over to me, climbed on the couch, and tucked his blond head into my neck. No bottle, no pacifier, just a snuggle and a nap.

And he remained asleep for close to two hours. I held him in my arms, leaned into the couch back, snoozing on and off with him as he snuffled and snored that sweet little baby snore.

I spend a lot of time, still, with him in my arms. Whenever he allows it, I take the opportunity. Here he is already just a few short weeks from a year old, the first couple years of little ones lives go by so fast. I can’t stand the thought of missing a minute of cuddle time. In a few years the cuddle times will be few and far between. Eventually he’ll leave my care and go to preschool, just as Kyrsie did before him.

My niece and nephew are huge parts of my world. I’ve spent the first year of each of their lives taking care of them while their parents work. I can’t imagine not spending this time with them, not having my days full of children while they can be.

I’m taking every last little minute of these days to my heart. Even if the day is full of nothing more than music and toys. Really, what could be more worthwhile?

I spent the morning like I do so many of my mornings, in the living room with my nephew, Tre.  He’s now eleven months old, blond haired, blue-eyed, round bellied, and full of laughter.  His Mom brought him into me this morning, I was still lying in bed. 

The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was his sweet little face, a huge grin spread across it, his little hands clapping just for the sheer joy of being alive.  I woke Tony up so, he could help me get settled in the living room.  He carries the wee one to the living room, while I go to the bathroom, every day.

As we start our routine, a bottle and baby food appear with Tony’s arm attached to them.  The gate is put up to corral the little man as he toddles to and fro looking for something to put in his mouth.

Kyrsie slowly woke up from the noise of our movements, she was here overnight as she is every so often.  She wakes up not nearly as happy as Tre.  Her green eyes are bleary, she wishes to go back to bed but, her cousin won’t allow it. 

The kids play around the room, toys are strewn from end to end, breakfast of baby food is forgotten.  I make my way to the kitchen to make breakfast.  Scrambled eggs and toast.  Eggs are one of Kyrsie’s favorites, toast is Tre’s.  I bring the plates in to the kids.

Such happy little faces over something so simple; a couple of eggs, scrambled, toast with butter, and a piece of sausage.  You would think I had presented them with the finest cut of steak from the best restaurant in the world.  I spoon eggs into Tre’s mouth as he bites pieces off of his toast.

Breakfast is over quickly, just a few crumbs left on the plates, and a couple pieces sacrificed to the dog who comes out to scarf them down before returning to his hiding place out of the reach of the kids.  Homer is a great big mutt.  On his hind legs he is as tall as I am.  He weighs probably 120 pounds.  He is a gentle giant.  When Tre first came home from the hospital he sat outside the room that Tre was in.  He followed Tre around the house.  That was his baby and he had to protect him.

Now, when Tre pulls up on him, ‘pets’ him, or just generally antagonizes Homer, he just sits there, patient as ever, only moving when Tre is down.  Homer is a dog that I would clone if I could, I don’t know what we’ll do when he goes.  He’s an old boy now, at least for a large dog.  He moves a little slower, doesn’t see quite as well.  We have to direct him to the pizza crusts we give him as he adores pizza crust but, can’t see them fly through the air.

Homer back in place, the kids roughhouse with one another.  Tre has a love of attacking Kyrsie, grabbing her around the neck and just squeezing her.  From time to time, he hears a stern “no biting” as he has 2 razor sharp bottom teeth that he likes to chomp on people with. 

The tussle and play, I keep one eye on them, the other on my book.  Today’s book of choice is “Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs” by Cheryl Peck.  I flip back and forth between country music channels until something that Tre or I like appears.  When one does, he claps to the beat, jog his butt up and down.  In particular Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse (Ride A Cowboy).”  All he has to hear is the opening dum dada dum line and he’s off to watch the Freak Parade and boogie.

Kyrsie is not as pleased.  She does not like Country music, in fact, she prefers rap and/or hip hop.  That is not flying that early in the morning for me.  I need to hear music pleasing to my ears for at least the first hour or two. 

Eventually, though I give in flipping between her channels while she watches for Usher to appear.  She has already declared her undying love for him and that she will marry him someday.  My cry of him being entirely too old for her falls on deaf ears.

I let her know that she has to get ready for preschool.  Now, this doesn’t go over well.  Not only is Aunt Pooh here but, baby Fre (her words for him) is as well.  I convince her that she does have to get dressed and have her hair brushed.  The hair brushing is another fight, entirely. 

One that I can’t do justice in mere words alone. She finally allows a brush to grace her hair, places her shoes on her feet, her and her Papa are off for the day.

(the rest of our day will be finished in tomorrow’s entry)

I’ve Gone to the Dark Side…

Yes, I’ve done it.  I now have this site set up with Blogger.  I had to do something to motivate myself to get off my ass and write.  Well, without having to link back and forth, hither and yon, on every damn update, that will help.  Plus, I don’t have to fuss with an ftp client or all that jazz from here on out.  Nor do I have to add (by hand) comment code for each entry.

 It’s a good thing, I promise.  All the links are now at the bottom of this page, they’ll lead you to archives and all that fun stuff. 

 Now, where have I been for the last month and a half? That’s a longer story.  For several weeks I was pretty much offline.  I checked my email a couple times, wrote a couple of notifies, and otherwise was nowhere near the internet.  Really, it was a good thing, even though at the start I didn’t think so.

Other than that, Tony and I celebrated our eighth dating anniversary on the 18th of July.  We saw I, Robot.  On our very first date, we saw Independence Day, so the whole Will Smith thing worked for us.   

My Mom spent a few days in the hospital but, is home now.  She’s on insulin shots vs just oral meds and is working towards getting her blood sugar levels under control. 

The Fourth of July was interesting.  We had plenty of good fireworks due to my Dad taking a trip to South Carolina.  Flying stuff, booming stuff, and all sorts of other things saw there way over Tony’s parents’ home and my parents’ home over the weekend. 

Festival (yes, I’m going backwards in time, don’t ask) weekend was back in June.  It was a much more laidback weekend than in year’s gone by.  There wasn’t much drinking, no real late nights. Parades and talking, too much sun, and kids, that was what the whole weekend was about.  And, really, it was one of the better weekends in years.

That has been our summer so far.  Coming up is Journalcon in August.  I’m registered, Tony will be there as a guest and so should y’all, damnit. 

 As of last count I heard there were 102 registered.  If that isn’t enough incentive I’m a panelist on the “attendees choice”/secret journalling panel.  And, really that should bring all of you running, damnit.

Now, comment, tell me you missed me, tell me about your summer, or just say boo.  And that means you Tracey!