Friday, August 23, 2013

Six Months

Alice is six months old today. She has been such a calm, happy baby. About half of the time, she'll sleep ten to twelve hours, and the rest of the time, she only wakes up once. More than that is very rare. (After Danny who didn't sleep ten to twelve hours a night until he was around sixteen months old, this seems miraculous!) Alice is really cheerful and endures pretty well the love ("abuse") shared with her from her older brother and sister. It has been a pleasure and a delight to have Alice Grace Collett in our life.

It is impossible though to think of six months without thinking of another sweet baby. I think of her every time I see a six month old. It is said that time heals all wounds. I don't think that completely applies to having a child die, unless it doesn't call for a full recovery. As I was looking through pictures of my brother's daughter trying to choose one for this post, I found myself smiling at how happy and beautiful she was and crying because she's not here anymore and I can't help but still feel like she should be.

So while I'm so happy to have Alice and excited for her to pass this milestone of her first half birthday, six months will always remain a sad age for me.

Alice Grace Collett and her cousin, Tabitha Grace Boling

Cousins in 2011 and 2013
We miss you, Tabitha.
(Interesting how Callie ended up in the same spot for both pictures.
And some how, not a single cousin is siting by either of the same cousins as last time.)

I am so grateful for every moment I have with those I love.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


One of the reasons why I value play dates and having my husband come home after work is because adult conversations are necessary for my sanity. Jeff has been gone for a week now, and here are two examples of common conversations in my household.

Mommy: "Danny, you need to eat your dinner."
Danny: "Not eating."
Mommy: "Danny, if you don't eat, then you will have a hungry tummy when you go to bed."
Danny: "Not going to bed."
Mommy: "Danny, if you don't go to bed, you will be really tired."
Danny: "Not tired."
Mommy: "Danny, you are tired. That's why you're not eating your dinner. Come and eat."
Danny: "Not eating."

. . . and so it continues.

Jill: "Mommy, what is Jackson's plant made out of?"
Mommy: "The plant? Um. Plant cells."
Jill: "Mommy, what are Jackson's fish made out of?"
Mommy: "Ummm . . . maybe cartilage?"
Jill: "Mommy, what am I made out of?"
Mommy: "Animals cells."
Jill: "Mommy, what are animals cells?"
Mommy: "The stuff you are made out of."
Jill: "But what do they look like?"
Mommy: "Well, err, sort of like circles. Really small circles. Red and pink circles. You can only see them with a microscope, because they are so small."
Jill: "I can see them. They are all over me."

Why couldn't Jill be asking me about literature or language? Science was one of my worst subject. And now that I think about it, I don't think fish are made of cartilage. That's sharks, isn't it??

After dinner, Jill starting saying this word, but I could not figure out what it meant. I told her we would go make a video of her mystery word, and for some reason that made her start singing it. Can you figure out what she is saying?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Packin' Heat

About a month ago, my little family and I were walking to one of the playgrounds in our neighborhood. As we crossed the street to the park, I noticed a man acting really suspiciously. I felt nervous and whispered to Jeff, "Is that guy packing heat?"

(Don't ask me why I said it that way. I really do have a degree in literature and editing. Even now I wonder why my immediate expression was "packing heat" instead of "carrying a gun" or something.)

Jeff didn't hear what I said, and the kids charged onto the playground. I felt really uncomfortable, but then a police dog showed up, and it became apparent that yes, the man was packing heat, but he was not casing the joint for a future heist. He was part of a police team training a dog.

My assumption was completely incorrect even though it was derived accurately from the appearances. The man was creeping behind a building trying to not be detected. And he was carrying a weapon.

But he was a police officer, training a dog.

(The training continued throughout the neighborhood, and I got to watch a few other maneuvers while sitting at the play ground. It was pretty interesting. What a smart dog!)

This experience made me wonder how often my assumptions are incorrect.

And it made me reflect on how dangerous it can be to make judgments based on appearances.

So often though, that's all you have to go by. So I guess the key is to be as generous as possible. To initially assume the best. And to always be open to reevaluate when new information is available.

In other news, my husband is in Africa again. Specifically Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Do you know there is an African nation whose official language is Spanish? There is. And it's Equatorial Guinea. Jeff is enjoying being in a country that speaks Spanish.

I had hoped he would get to see the volcano there, but he can't find tours to it. It seems that EQ isn't set up for tourists. The kids and I have survived three nights so far. The level of chaos in my house is high. It appears that one good thing about separation is that it increases my appreciation for having him around. I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder.

And in other, other news, here is a vignette from my household.

Wife: I can't decide which frames to buy. But you know, YOLO, right?

Husband: What?

Wife: You know—"YOLO"—You Only Live Once.

Husband: I don't think anyone who uses that expression is talking about buying bright blue glasses.

Silence. A few minutes pass.


Jill is working on memorizing the Articles of Faith. I love how she says the second one: "We believe that that man must be punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgressions." She feels very strongly about "that man."

My family had a reunion last month. All of my siblings made it to celebrate my mother's birthday. The oldest grandchild is 5 1/2 years old. And there are twelve grandchildren! Yes, it was a crazy week. But very fun. :)

Here are some cousins: Hallie, Annibelle, Hanna, Jill, Emily, Daniel, and Callie.

Jill LOVES having a baby sister.

Danny walked around with his baseball and bat today but couldn't find anyone to play with.
He definitely misses his daddy.