Tuesday, December 30, 2014

4 Mile Walk

I never wished I was with my boys more and not working when Mike took Killian and Mick on a long walk/adventure & exploration yesterday afternoon. It was a balmy ~56 degrees yesterday - perfect for a long walk.

They parked in our old neighborhood in Huntersville and walked 4 miles roundtrip to Harris Teeter and back. When the man at the deli counter learned they were fueling up for their walk back, he gave them their muenster cheese slices for free.

They were serious troopers.



the butt rock


silly brothers



a tunnel underneath Gilead!





Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Scenes from Fall 2014

It was a good fall. From local pumpkin patches to a trip to Florida, we have had a lot of fun.

Happy October!





Killian waits patiently to go outside and play.

Beth moved back to Raleigh, but Tina moved in. We love having Tina here.  She picks up Killian from school often and sends me pictures like this, as they walk around Noda or go to the park.


Mike gave a talk on feminism in September and it rocked.

Mike rocked at Ignite tonight. There was extra applause for this slide.

Mike took a business trip to the Cirque de Solei headquarters in Montreal and fell in love with the city and the language. He now speaks French all the time and gives the kids lessons sometimes.

On the tarmac now about to leave Montreal. Cirque du Soleil headquarters was a fun place to have to do work =)

Mike is teaching Mick different words in French.

Mick and I explored Noda on a warm October day.
And all I can say is that my life is pretty plain... (Mick running around in his Elsa dress this afternoon reminded me of that Blind Melon video)

We enjoyed the Carolina BalloonFest in Statesville.
BalloonFest success!

Carolina Balloon Festival was awesome. I loved seeing my favorite people as excited as I was =)

Halloween was fun.

The green Power Puff girl, Elsa with ice powers, and the sexy leg lamp. (It's a major award.)


He called this, "The Grown Up Piggy."

The Maleficent costume made an appearance again this year.

The multi-generational Maleficent costume: ages 4 - 24

And Thanksgiving was the best. Nothing is better than family. A lot of family. You don't get much more "togetherness" then this :)





We learned Mick is really (crazy) good at puzzles. Killian learned to read, and is having a great year at kindergarten.


Christmas is in a few days! The kids are currently enjoying their two-week break from school and we're looking forward to another fun few days with family.

Wrapped Up in Books

Everyone needs a reading nook #wrappedupinbooks

Mick and his reading baskets - the one he's sitting in and the one with the books next to him

Mick has taken a love to reading :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

An Excavator Causes Cavalcade of Emotions

Front row seats to the show

Now for our moment of zen: Dig dig dig dig. Morning entertainment for our little ones. Construction sites are captivating.

While walking to work this morning
An excavator came into view
And I immediately found myself excited
And with a big smile, I thought
“Look, an excavator!”

My excitement faded
As I realized I was alone
With no 3 or 5 year olds around
To share in the joy
Of the large excavator at work

But I comforted my quiet recognition
Of being alone without my children
With the thought
How wonderful is it
That it is now instinctual
To automatically share in
The joys of a 3 and 5 year old

My warm fuzzies faded
As I realized that
The boys will probably grow faster
Than my old brain
And the neural pathway that formed
To tell me
Excavator = Excitement!
Will outlast the boys’ own interest
In large excavators at work

And I will be stuck thinking
“Look, an excavator!”
When they are 10…15…20? years old
And they’ll roll their eyes at me
But at least those pathways in my old brain
Will cause me to remember
The joys of a 3 and 5 year old

Sunday, November 16, 2014

These are a few of Mick's favorite things...

Mick sang a song for me yesterday that went like this...

Hugs and kisses
Care Bears and rainbows
Michael Jackson
Mr. Woo 
and Luna too :)

(And did he mention Michael Jackson?)

I asked him to sing it for me again this morning...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

John, what the hell?

John, these are pictures of you and baby Mick. Mick is now 3 years old, which leads me to deduce that these pictures were taken no longer than 3 years ago.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

In just a few short years, somehow you transformed from little boy

to a young man.
John looking snazzy before digging into his Arnold Hamandegger #thatdoesntsoundweirdatall

It was just the other day I was 17 and my little Johnny 5 was the handsomest, sweetest little toddler I knew.


I'm not sure what kind of time warping is going on, but geez, John, slow it down!

Happy 17th Birthday, John! We love you!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Notes about Killian, the pre-K student

At the end of Killian's school year last June, Mike and I visited his class to share Killian's "Celebration of Life" story. After we finished sharing the story, his classmates had an opportunity to share their favorite things about Killian. I quickly grabbed a piece of paper and pencil, so I could jot down what they shared. While unpacking the last of the boxes from our move last summer, I just uncovered the piece of paper with my notes. Every sentence made me smile.

Carlee, with a big smile: He's funny. (Everyone laughed knowingly.)

Zy: I like it when he plays with me outside.

James: I like it when Killian gives me a lesson.

Jameel: I like it when Killian plays with me.

Bryce: I like it when Killian comes to my birthday party.

Agani: I liked Killian's birthday part and the magic show.

Brodi: I like it when Killian draws with me.

Ms. Holly: I love that Killian likes a clean classroom as much as I do. His favorite activities are dusting and washing the table.

Ms. Michelle: Killian loves math and now gets his lessons with the kindergarden students. The closer Killian gets to 5 years old, the more he loves to talk to everyone, even himself!

I love this "About the Author," Killian's teacher assistant, Ms. Holly wrote for him, that he brought home at the end of the school year. We are so grateful that he is able to attend Montessori school.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mike's Infamous Guacamole Recipe

12 avocados, 6 limes, half a head of garlic, 1.5tsp salt ... woohoo school potluck lunch!

4 large/medium avocados
The zest of 2 limes and the juice of 2 limes
2 garlic cloves smashed
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
"Ask your kid to poke it all together with a fork. Finish up with a good round of smashey smash." --Mike Walker

Monday, September 8, 2014

chatting about science with Killian

when we were chatting about science
you said 
what if a star exploded?

and I replied 
that would be sad,
because stars are beautiful

and you, 
without hesitation, said
that’s not true
exploded stars are *more* beautiful

and I, without hesitation, said
well, yes. yes they are. thank you!
and with a growing smile
my son remembered

planetary nebulae 

*written jointly by Mike & Mary

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Rules of the House, as written by Killian and Mick

The following rules were declared The Rules of the House by Killian and Mick in a family meeting, August 11th. I was surprised how many they rattled off without our input.
  1. No throwing
  2. No acting like power rangers
  3. Put books where books belong
  4. No hitting
  5. No kicking
  6. No banging or yelling
  7. No grabbing
  8. No pushing
  9. Keep your feet to yourself
  10. No TV until toys are put away
  11. No toys at the table
  12. No playing with your food
  13. No bathroom words
  14. Take dishes to the sink
  15. Never ever play with a window
Bunk Bed Rules
  1. No jumping on the top
  2. No bouncing
  3. Always go down face down, butt out
  4. No pulling the ladder up
Important Safety Rules
  1. No playing with matches
  2. Don't play with sharp things
  3. No playing on the stairs
  4. No playing with sockets
  5. No playing with real phones
Obvious and Unclassifiable
  1. No cutting people (Mick)
  2. No feeding zebras (Mick)

The Best Summer Ever #killiansummervacation

Being five years old and having the summer off is a pretty wonderful time.

This is the first summer Killian was not enrolled in any school (daycare or elementary school).


He kicked off the summer with a few weeks of downtime. I signed him up for art camp for July and August, but I wanted him to have some good ole unstructured free time for the pool, singing along to the Frozen Soundtrack every morning, exploring new places in Charlotte with Tina, and waking up and going straight outside in his PJs.  I am so happy that the timing worked out perfectly for Tina to be able to spend time with him in June after she graduated. And Tina took most of these awesome pictures. Thank you for the memories Tina :)



Ready for the pool!





Killian loves hanging with Aunt Julie

Killian originally protested going to summer camp, even though it was going to be run by the same art program he attended after school last year and loved. I am so glad I insisted he go because he absolutely loved it. And the counselors loved him too! Killian was awarded "Camper of the Summer" for his enthusiasm and eagerness to participate. He was the youngest in his class, as it as a mix of 5 - 12 (or upper elementary). Tina snapped this picture when she happened to see Killian and classmates walking down the street during SuperHero week, wearing the capes they made.


The summer was also memorable because we had kittens in the house! Beth and Mr. Woo lived with us this summer and Beth adopted a kitten, Luna. Killian adores them both. The cuteness level in our house this summer at times was sometimes unbearable between both the interaction of Killian and the cats and between young Miss Thang Luna and Middle-Aged Man Mr. Woo.



Cat cuddles

Killian also taught himself to swim this summer from spending so much time at the pool and some good tips from Grandma Maggie (cup your hands). We joined a cozy "neighborhood" pool this summer that a lot of our buddies from Plaza Midwood attend. It was nice for Killian to be able to re-connect with his old pre-school friends.


See you next year Shannon Park Pool.

See you next year Shannon Park Pool.