Shopping Buddy

Slice of Life: Day 31

Today I had a shopping buddy.  He wanted to come with and I was happy to oblige.  Coffee in hand, juice box in tow we were ready to go.  He chose to walk, run, skip, hop next to me.  Up and down the aisles.

“Do we need this?”

“Do we need that?”

He would gently place his selected items on the bottom rack of the cart as opposed to dumping them over the side of the cart.

“Can I have this?”

“Can I have that?”

We got to the back of the store all groceries carefully selected.  List checked once and twice for good measure.

“We have everything.  Do you want to hop on?”


Propped up on the bottom rail, hands on the bar, Mom pushing the cart from behind.

Sometimes a departure from a mundane task can make it unexpectedly more enjoyable.  Today my shopping buddy did just that!

Swimming Lessons

Slice of Life: Day 30

Sitting behind the glass the warmth of the pool surrounds me and the smell of chlorine is strong.  There he is sitting on the ledge waiting patiently.  Kicking on his own holding on to a floating dumbbell.  Water poured onto his head he doesn’t even flinch! Yes! We’ve come a long way.  Next dipping under the water.  Ugh! I even hold my breath.  He surfaces unfazed.  He effortlessly wipes the water from his nose.  Success!  High fives all around.  I am so proud of him.  A year ago he would not have done either of those skills.  He hates water in his eyes! And I mean hate.  He gets splashed in the bath tub and he is screaming bloody murder! But, this is the kid who loves the pool and water slides and the idea of boating.  I use this to my advantage and tell him he can go in the deeper water, on the bigger slides  and on a boat when he can swim on his own!  He raises his hand to go first to try out the skill.  I am so proud.  He makes it back to the ledge and takes off his goggles to look for me.  There I am waving and giving him a thumbs up for encouragement! He has come a long way!  We exchange goofy faces and then he gets back to listening to his teacher and practicing his swimming skills.  I am so proud!  He has come a long way.

Chalk Drawings

Slice of Life: Day 29

Sitting at the end of the driveway two buckets of chalk one for each kid.  Luke is drawing a five eyed alien.  Olivia enjoys taking out a piece of chalk, drawing a few lines, dropping it and going back for a new color.  Rainbows, clouds and flowers are drawn.  Olivia walks up the driveway.  Back down to the bottom.  Down the sidewalk.  Always stopping and checking as if to ask, “Is this OK, mom?” She giggles, turns and keeps on walking.  Luke is focused.  Content drawing.  The dog is close.  She loves being outside breathing in the fresh air always laying in the chalk.  The sun is shining.  The air smells fresh and of Spring.  Birds chirping.  I couldn’t ask for a better Spring day!

Delayed Naptime

Slice of Life: Day 28

Lunch was finished.  Everyone was to head upstairs for a nap, but then we saw them… one city maintenance truck, two city maintenance trucks and a backhoe!  All driving into our cul-de-sac!  All coming to a stop in front of our house!

“Well the city sure responded to that request quickly,” I surprisingly told my husband.

Back during our snow days, we had a gas leak at home.  They temporarily fixed the gas line seeing as though the ground was frozen and it was -30 with the wind chill.  Needless to say it made our snow day quite memorable, but the gas company couldn’t completely fix what needed to be fixed.  A few weeks later, the gas company came back out with a digger and had to do some more work on the gas line this time desecrating our front parkway and nearly uprooting our tree.  So as the snow melted and ground thawed I have been left with a heaping mound of dirt, rock, grass and gnarled roots in my front yard.  “We’ll be back,” they told my husband.  So I finally put in the request last weekend that our parkway was in dire need of repair.  Today that call was answered to my son’s delight!

We love living on a cul-de-sac and today was no exception.  We pulled the dining room chairs up to the window.  Both kids’ faces pressed to the glass as if to get closer to the action.  The backhoe first… digging, scooping, digging, scooping.  Up comes the dump truck… dump.  Here to collect the mangled ground.  Finally the eye sore will be gone!  My son can’t get enough!  My daughter bouncing up and down not sure what is going on, but, hey, this is something new to watch!  On the chair.  Off the chair.  Standing.  Crouching.  All while trying to get the best view!

The first dump truck and backhoe take their position in the center of the cul-de-sac.  Up drives the second dump truck onto the parkway.  Lift gate down.  Raise it up.  Out pours new dirt to fill in the hole.  Drag, plop, press, repeat.  Taking care to make sure the dirt gets where it needs to go.  Strategic.  Then the seed.  This guy is clearly the seed thrower.  He has a technique.  He is focused.  He is purposeful.  Just the right amount.  Then the rake.  Dragging, moving.  Last, the leaf blower.  Clean off the sidewalk and curb make it look like we weren’t here.  Finally, the mound is gone and replaced with new dirt and grass seed with the hope new grass will grow and the tree that was once disturbed will continue to grow as well.

“Alright, buddy, time for bed.”

“They’re not done yet.”

“Yes, they are.  They are just talking now.”

“You said when they were all done.”

“They’re done, buddy.  Bedtime.”

“Ahh man.”

The trucks, the backhoe, the work still do not make going to take a nap any easier!

Evening Bike Ride

Slice of Life: Day 27

The bike carrier was hooked up.  All the essentials packed… water bottles, snacks, wipes.  We were set.  My son loves going in the bike carrier.  For years it was just him sitting in the middle, room on either side, but now his sister gets to join him.  Pushed to the side, jockeying for arm positions, the two of them together.  I strapped them in and zipped up the carrier.  On I climbed to make sure the bike felt alright pulling the carrier.  For someone who hasn’t biked in awhile, let alone pulling at least 50 pounds behind me, it didn’t feel so bad!  Off we go!  I on the bike, kids in tow and my husband running along side., well behind!  I was suppose to set his pace, but I have too much fun being able to go faster than him that I can’t help myself.  Whoosh!  Hehe.  Squeals from my daughter behind!  The air was cool and crisp and we could hear the river’s water whooshing by alongside us.  My husband left in our dust sprinting behind… my husband is more than capable of keeping this fast pace so I really don’t feel bad.  I look back to check on the kids… and him.  All are enjoying themselves.  It is just nice to be out in the sunshine, in nature, enjoying the time together as a family.

Mystery Reader

Slice of Life: Day 26

Today was the day.  My son has been waiting for me to come to his class to be the Mystery Reader.  His dad had read.  Now when was it going to be my turn!

“Carrie’s mom and dad have both come to read, so that means you can come too!”

Everyday when I pick him up from class we have to walk by the wall of Mystery Readers, “Mommy, the wall is getting covered up fast when are you going to come in to read?”

Today is my day.  Finally on Spring Break.  No day to take off.  No sub plans to make.  I can just enjoy reading to my son’s class!

I get an email on the way there telling me the class is out at recess and I can go “hide out” in the office and wait until the teacher comes to get me.

I see the kids out on the playground.  I avoid eye contact.  I park farther away from the playground and building so as to not draw attention to myself.  I quickly get out.  Sunglasses on.  Books to the side.  Head down and away from the playground.  Move swift.  Don’t let them see.  I open the door and quickly veer to the right catching my son’s class filing in to their classroom out of the corner of my eye.  I wait in hiding.  Waiting to be summoned.  I am giddy with excitement and a twinge of nervous butterflies.  It’s that first day of school feeling.  I have been teaching for years and have read many stories aloud, but this is different this is to surprise my son and read to his class.

Here comes his teacher.  Calm.  Warm and welcoming.  Always smiling.  Hehe.  I can’t wait to see my son’s face!

“Boys and girls, I have our Mystery Reader.  Who do you think it is going to be?  Let’s welcome… Luke’s mom!”


“It’s Luke’s mom!”

“Luke, it’s your mom!”

“You’re not a grandpa!”

“No, Henry.  I am not a grandpa.”

“Mrs. W said it was a grandpa.”

“I was trying to trick you all,” replied Mrs. W.

All the boys and girls were sitting criss cross applesauce on the carpet.  Hands in their lap.  So quiet.  All smiles.  Eagerly waiting to be read to.

Two chairs were placed side by side at the front of the room.  Luke climbs up next to me as I sit.  He quickly pulls the books from my grasp and says, “This one first.”

I read and the kids comment and Luke sits close so happy to have me there to finally be the Mystery Reader.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day!  If only I could do this more often!


A Different Kind of Morning

Slice of Life: Day 25

I never get to walk the dog in the morning during the weekday.  I am always rushing because of snoozing too many times or one of the kids gets ready too slow or I walk around the kitchen in circles too many times getting breakfast and lunch ready simultaneously!  There is never time for me to walk the dog.  I am on kid duty and my husband takes the dog.  Today though.  Today is my first day of break!  Today was a different kind of morning.  I slept until the kids woke up.  No lunch to make.  No need to keep checking the clock and I got to walk the dog.

She had this look of “What about me?  You are forgetting to walk me!”

Once my husband and kids left I told her, “Come on, let’s go outside.”


“Back door.  Front door.  This is not my routine.  Why is my mom taking me out?!”

Out the door.  Ah… deep breath in.  Exhale.  Spring is in the air.  A cool morning with the warm sunshine on my face.  She has a prance in her step.  Not rushed.  Not just business as usual.  An extra stop at this tree.  That tree.  A good smell in the newly placed leaves.  It’s quiet.  I do not get to enjoy this quiet in the morning.  The street is quiet.  No cars.  No buses.  No one out yet.  Maybe it is because everyone else is home with their kids on break and enjoying the late start or maybe it is because it is too late and everyone else has already left.  Either way, it is a morning to enjoy.  My first baby and I, who has slowly gotten pushed to the side with the arrival of other babies, enjoy the morning together.  I have missed my morning walk and talks with my dog enjoying the quiet of the morning… not rushed.