What's the best way to honor a sunny, spunky little one gone to Heaven much too soon? Join us as we bake, skip, squat, color, leapfrog, and simply remember our way through our first Summer without Logan. And watch as I try to answer the question: are there great answers and healing to be found in One Summer of Fun?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lunchie Munchie Crunchie

That's a pretty corny post title, but I can still hear my 6th grade teacher saying that before lunchtime each day. So there it is.

A few weeks ago, one of my old post-college/pre-marriage roommates, Andrea, contacted me to see if I'd like to get together. And today was the day. We headed out to Denica's, a local cafe, at 11 for an early lunch that bled into the afternoon. There was much eating (mostly of cheese-related products, since my kids and Andrea's all chose either grilled cheese or quesadillas -- go figure!) and then much playing for the little peeps and chatting for us ladies.

Here are the short people --Jacob, Annabelle, Abby, Isaac and Brady-- after they did a bang-up job of cleaning up the play area:

...and us moms:

Great seeing you guys!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Berry Fun

I blink and bam, it's mid-July. Or at least that's what you might guess based on how well I've kept up with my little project here! Oh well -- it's the way life is sometimes. Stuff happens, days pass, you roll with it.

To get back on track, I'll start with today's activity and then try to work backward. Or at least that's my pipe dream. :) We'll see how it all plays out in reality.

I've had this idealized little notion for a while now that I'd like to go berry picking in Brentwood, home of lots and lots and lots (did I mention there are lots?) of U-pick farms. So that's just what we did this morning. I got up, got dressed, retrieved Brady from his crib, mozied downstairs, poured cups of milk and bowls of cereal, divvied up the last apple strudel pastry that'd been teasing me on the counter (ha! I win, you calorie-packed baked good, you!), and then asked Abby and Isaac if they'd like to go berry picking. (But not Brady. Because it's not as if he had a choice anyway.) The question was met with an enthusiastic YES! so we headed out at about 10.

After stopping at the uber-convenient Starbucks drive-thru (hey, it was along the way...), we started off in earnest for our destination: Enos Family Farm. I'd never been there before, but their website said they still had U-pick fruit, and the Yelp reviews were good ones. I quickly realized that I don't like driving on Vasco Road, but I persevered through the ups and downs and we arrived to secure some succulent fruit!

The strawberries were pretty picked over, which was a major bummer. But it's not exactly peak season, and it IS Monday, so I guess it makes sense that they'd have limited supply of ripe, juicy berries. That didn't stop us from picking a few pounds' worth. (And it definitely didn't stop Brady from snacking. A lot. More than I'd care to admit. But I'll deny it. Berry thief? My boo? No way!)

We left the strawberry patch after 30 minutes or so of scrounging. Some of us were less amused than others.

Then we moved over to the U-pick apricot trees. I may have possibly sampled one to get a notion of whether or not they were any good, and fortunately, they were! While I monitored Brady, Abby and Isaac filled a bucket. Part-way. But more-way than I'd planned, so we now have plenty of very small but very tasty apricots.

And with that, we hit the road, bound for home with a bag of berries and a box of apricots in tow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

And... I'm Behind!

Well, it didn't take me long to fall behind. Oops. It's mostly because it hasn't been a particularly exciting week so far. Monday, Isaac and Brady (who I refer to as 'the little boys') had their 4-year and 18-month check-ups, respectively. Here they are before the needles came out:

I don't have an 'after' photo, but I'm sure you can imagine the scene: Brady screaming, Isaac crying, Abby screaming AND crying because Brady accidentally ripped the straw hat she was wearing. Ah, the symphony. Anyway, Brady is still small, hovering around 20-25% for height and weight. Isaac continues to be more of a 75% man. He also, as it turns out, earned a referral to occupational therapy thanks to poor balance and poor fine motor skills. (And that's in addition to the speech issues he's had for years and a dogged refusal to potty train.) So I pretty much walked out of there feeling like a complete failure.

Tuesday was a bit better. We made what I termed Super Brownies: box mix jazzed up with candy/toppings I could find in the pantry, including M&Ms (handily squirreled away after Easter), mini marshmallows and caramel topping.

Were they awesome? Not really. The M&Ms were impossible to find post-baking (much to Isaac's great disappointment), and the marshmallow turned into a mushy, chewy mess. But not bad. Nope, definitely not bad.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 6 -- Got a little boom in my big truck

Got a little boom in my big truck...

I'm not really crazy. Okay, well, maybe a little bit. But seriously, I defy anyone who's lived a life like mine to not be just a wee bit nutso (at least sometimes). See? I just wrote several lines about absolutely nothing. If that's not nutty in a Seinfeld sort of way, I don't know what is.

Anyway, I don't have a truck so the aforementioned booming is the first line of Country Girl, the music for this year's mother/daughter dance. I've heard that song so many times since January that I sing it in my sleep, in the shower, in the car, in the store, while gardening, everywhere. Sometimes I don't realize I'm singing outloud and only notice when someone looks at me funny. It's recital weekend, so I've already heard it --and danced it-- once today. We're back at it again tonight at 7, and tomorrow at 1 for the last time. I'm of multiple minds about it. I've always felt a jolt of nervousness just before going on stage, but once I'm out there with a few steps safely under my belt, I feel at home. It's always been like that for me. But beyond that, it feels like I'm paying tribute to Logan. The morning he died, we were in dance class and I wanted to quit. But I had a sudden thought: Logan would LOVE this; you have to keep doing it. So we did. Even when it wasn't fun getting up at 7:45 on Saturday morning. So we've now done it once, and I paid tribute to my sunshine with the I Love You gesture.

But it wasn't all about us gals. Isaac and his Rags cohorts had their performance this afternoon. In fact, another mom and I were responsible for their class back stage. Here they are, along with my wonderful helper Abby:

Isaac was a champ. He not only went on stage and did the song and dance, but he had a particularly loud moment that jarred the audience to giggles. He is, after all, Ms. Ti's LOUD singer.

My most bizarre moment of the early afternoon came during the studio owner's speech at the end. The cast was all on stage, sitting and listening (or in the case of the little ones, fidgeting like mad). I felt self-conscious since I was parked right smack in the middle of the stage with the Rags crew and most of the other moms were off to the sides, but my placement became key as the girls in front of me suddenly turned and exclaimed "there's a bee!" After much scooching, I saw it, and tried to shoo it away. Of course, the bee took that as license to fly toward us and it landed on a little girl's shoe. (Thankfully, she didn't notice.) There was more screeching, and I swatted it away. Undeterred, it flew right at me and landed on my collar. I swatted it away yet again, and it landed next to me. (Cue more scooching and muted screeching.) I looked at it, apologized, and then stepped on it. Poor bee. Then I made a little path and kicked it out to the front of the stage. I'm sure the rest of the theater was oblivious, but it was a bit of expected excitement for me. And I'd prefer to NOT have a repeat performance of the feat.

Anyway, we headed outside afterward and met up with Adam and his parents. It's not a great pic, but it'll do:

And... more to come!

Day 5 -- Happy birthday, Isaac!

June 15 was Isaac's fourth birthday. I had a lot of very mixed feelings about this particular changing of age. After all, it was just two weeks after my sweet Logan turned four that we found out he had cancer. But like many things, birthdays come and go no matter how we feel about them, and all in all, this one wasn't bad at all.

The day began with dance recital rehearsal for all of us. (Well, those of us dancing this year, so to be precise, Abby, Isaac and me.)

Then it was on to presents, lunch for the boys at McD's (Abby and I had to go back to the theater to rehearse her ballet number), pro pics, dinner at Red Tractor, presents and cake! Phew!

And for good measure, a cheeser smile from Brady. This is what he does when he sees a camera these days.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day Four

Oof, four days in and I'm already behind. This does not bode well for the summer as a whole... but onward I press.

Yesterday, we went to the Dairy in town for ice cream. It's a cute place where you drive up to (usually) a teenager, place an order, and they bring it out to your car. So a drive thru with no speakers or windows. Abby cleverly told me that she'd been there with Bridget and that Bridget's mom gets them *medium* sized cones (and I have no idea if that's true or not...). So medium it was, with chocolate and orange for Abby, vanilla for Isaac, and strawberry for Brady and me. I should star that last part, because it's not as if Brady wanted to share with his mommy. Does this look like someone who wants to share?

We took our ice cream over to the Veterans' Plaza Park downtown, which has a tot lot but not much else. Fortunately Abby and Isaac got into it anyway, and post-ice cream we played for a little while.

And that's about it! Up next: 6/15, Isaac's fourth birthday plus dance recital rehearsals. Busy, busy, busy....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 3

Following on the heels of yesterday's big excursion, Laziness took control. So today was low-key. Low, low key.

Isaac had dance class this morning, and I was very (very) pleased that he actually participated. He hadn't wanted to for a few weeks now, but with the recital coming up this weekend, I was super anxious about having a potential non-dancer, non-singer on-hand. But he rocked out, in his crazed 'don't really know what I'm doing but hey, it's kinda fun' way. Then we came home and had fresh fruit salad for lunch. In an attempt to stick to my guns and do something 'different', they ate picnic-style atop a blanket in the living room. And that was pretty much it! The rest of the day was filled with Isaac making a stack of pictures, drawn almost entirely in purple crayon (and believe it or not, I'm just *now* getting the irony of that...) and featuring high-wire artists; Abby reading and watching the Disney Channel; and Brady, well, being a toddler.