Monthly Archives: May 2013



We had an appointment to check Levi’s eyes today. (He gets to take the patch off except for four hours every day. Yay!) Auntie Lou works at the eye center, and I tried to schedule the appointment so we could have lunch together after. I was close enough, so we all went to Wendy’s.

So Elias had chicken nuggets and french fries and chocolate milk and his Auntie. It’s possible he could have been happier, but I’m not sure how.

Levi wore his self-captioning shirt from Disney.



Elias tried a lemon for the first time. 20130531-160606.jpg



Both boys were so completely happy that they fell asleep in the car on the way home, and didn’t even protest being transferred to bed.

I walked out later in the afternoon to find this:



I just love it when they share this chair. Sometimes (though I’ve never been able to get it in a photo) they have their arms around each other. You can see in this picture that there’s not much extra room in that chair anymore, and I’m afraid the days of sharing it are nearly over. I’m a little sad.

On the other hand, when they can’t share the chair anymore there’ll be a little room between them so they’ll have to actually get up and move before engaging in hand-to-hand combat. So that’s a silver lining.

Head of Household

We got a letter in the mail today addressed as follows:


Doesn’t he just wish.

Goatie Did a Trick!

So we have a goat. This is not news to anyone who is my Facebook friend, but I don’t know that I’ve mentioned it explicitly on the blog. The goat arrived, just a few days old, in mid-April, and lived in a kennel until the weather warmed up and he got older. (Among the things I never thought I’d say: There is a goat in my garage.)

I named the goat Gyro, because I am a bad person, and because Paul made plans to butcher the goat when it was full-grown. The boys are terribly fond of Goatie (they never much liked Gyro as a name), and our friend Mike observed recently that the goat is probably not going to make it to the table.


I mean, they’re farm boys – who else would wear rubber boots over jammies – and they’re used to animals becoming food in a very concrete way. But they sure do love Goatie. I guess we’ll see what happens.

Anyway. Today Paul was mowing the lawn, and he’d put Goatie on a leash (Yes, the goat has a collar. Stop laughing.) and hooked the other end of the leash to a corner of his chain link enclosure, so he could  snack on the weeds. Then he went over to the other side of the house.

Apparently Goatie forgot all about him, because when Paul and the mower came roaring back, he freaked out and ran to the end of his leash, did a back flip, broke the leather leash, and disappeared.

I cannot tell you how sad I am that I wasn’t there to see that.

Paul parked the mower on the other side of the house and came in to tell me about it. When we  stopped giggling, Paul stepped outside to go look for him, and his head popped out of his little house. So all is well, and the goat is fine. But I really wish Paul had been filming that.

Life at the circus is many things. But almost never boring.

Bedtimes and Mornings

Our boys hate bedtime with the fire of a thousand suns. Both of them fight us every single night. I know this is a nearly universal parenting experience. Paul keeps wondering aloud why they fight it so hard. Bedtime comes every single day, and they never win. Every single day, they eventually go to sleep. It’s inevitable. Why the bellyaching?

And then today, it hit me: I’m exactly the same way about mornings. I guess maybe I should cut them some slack.

And now for a picture. Is there anything cuter than a freshly-bathed baby in a hooded towel?


I’ll answer that for you. No. No, there is not.

T-shirts and pizza and squirrels. Wait … squirrels?

It was Great Strides day in Akron today. I arrived early to help with setup and registration.20130519-185352.jpgHardesty Park in Akron gets festooned with banners and signs in short order.20130519-185344.jpg

T-shirts are stacked up in monstrous piles for any walker who raised at least $100. (I get mine in size Little Boy. The boys wear t-shirts more than I do.) See that lovely woman in the pinkish shirt, in the left side of the picture? That’s one of Levi’s CF nurses. We heart her.

My friend Joann came, with her daughter Maddie.20130519-185335.jpgJoann, in fact, has come and walked every year since Levi was about 9 months old. Every single year.

These people have come every year, too.20130519-185328.jpgThat’s my brother Chris, his wife Angela, and my niece and nephew. The kids are nine and eleven, and were the first runners/walkers to show up back at the pavilion. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty impressed.

I saw lots of folks that I see once or twice a year at CF events, made people fill out registration forms, and handed out pizza. Then we sorted signs and helped load the van. I was there just over five hours, and I’m pretty tired, but it was a great day.

The total was announced when all the walkers were back. Just over $120,000 was raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation today. More than 90% of that money will go straight to research toward a cure.

This is going to seem like a crazy non sequitur, but we had this recording of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I was a kid. The narrator was talking about one of the kids leaning over into a pit she wasn’t supposed to see, and says, “All she needed was one tiny push, and that was exactly what the squirrels gave her.” It’s a memorable line, and my sister and I have been parroting it for years.

I participate in Great Strides every year, I go to the CF Wine Opener every spring, and this year I’ll be doing a 30-mile bike ride in September to raise money for the CFF. All of that has nothing to do with Willy Wonka, except this: We are so close. We are SO close to a cure. All we need is one tiny push.

All of you that have donated, and walked, and prayed? You are awesome. Thank you for being squirrels. Please keep pushing.

Everybody’s Gone Surfing …


I just found this picture from Give Kids the World, and it’s too good not to share.



One of the amazing things at Give Kids the World is the pool. It’s enormous and heated to nearly bathwater temperature, and shallow all over, so you can really pack in the kids. There’s a zero-degree entry ramp and PVC wheelchairs provided with straps. Kids that hardly ever get to go in the pool can go.  There’s a pirate boat that serves as the backdrop for the Pirates and Princesses party every Friday night, and also as a screen for movie nights. Pretty fantastic.

And in the “surf shop” you can stand on a gigantic board and pretend to catch a wave. The boys don’t really get surfing at this point, so there they are with their special friends J and M. This was taken by Paul on the day I was so sick. It’s one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

Good memories.

Hope and Prayer

I despise asking people for money, especially with the way things are going for so many folks right now. Which is one of the reasons I’ve put this off for so long. But Sunday, I’m walking to raise money toward a cure for cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects Levi’s life – and our household – every day, in many ways.

Right now (seriously, she’s in surgery this very moment), there’s a woman in North Carolina getting her second double-lung transplant. She has fought CF bravely her entire life. Thanks to a donor family she will never know, she has another chance, but her road will never be easy, even with new lungs.

It’s my hope and prayer that a cure will be found for CF long before Levi has to decide whether such a major surgery is his next step. If you’re able to donate some money toward that cure, I’d like that. If you can’t, but you decide to hope and pray along with us, I’d like that just as much.

Thanks for reading.

Donation page at