A Firefly turns eight

21 12 2013

Dear Firefly,

Today you turn eight- it is almost impossible to believe. You are in 2nd grade, and while a parent always knows that their babies will grow up, if someone had told me the day you were born that eight years would go past in the blink of an eye, I wouldn’t have believed them (especially during those long first winter months when you refused to be put down quietly).

You were just showing us your budding personality my boy, which I have quickly come to learn rarely involves doing anything quietly. You love magic and at eight can fool me with quite a few tricks. You are an avid reader, and will finish library books sometimes before we even leave the library. You love to torment your little brother with all your knowledge and smarts, and will scream bloody murder when he gets mad. Then like the flip of a switch you will sit on the couch and read him a book or help him spell words for a note or engage him in some mischievous plan.

You are a sweet, loving boy who loves to cuddle, but is in all actuality not a very good cuddler- needing so much to wiggle and move all the time. You have discovered the theater and love it. It’s not a big surprise to those who know you- when you were 2 we went on a cruise and each night watching the evening show you would demand to go on stage. This year you got your chance and participated in a local production of the Nutcracker. You loved every minute- the only exception being putting on eye-liner (and really who could blame you on that one).

My little bug, I am very excited to see what this next year brings for you- hopefully new adventures, new books and lots of laughter.

Happy Birthday my boy.


Nighttime fun

21 11 2013

It’s pretty much never a dull moment around the little blue house.

Tonight I was inducted as a Ghostbuster- as evidenced by the badge that I was given by Lightning Bug and instructed to wear at all times.


Then there was another Talent Show– this time others were encouraged to also participate. G was told that her talent could be,

Making good choices. Because you’re really good at that.

Finally, and really this is probably not all, but everything that I could actually remember, a Black Friday commercial came on and Firefly announced,

I know what Black Friday is- that’s the day Jesus died right?

He probably does die a little bit every Black Friday my son, he probably does.


18 11 2013

I’ve started to try to get the little bugs to tell me what they might want for Christmas and Firefly’s upcoming birthday.  Those little stinkers are apt to write secret letters to Santa and not clue the rest of us in on what they might be wanting.

This weekend our conversation went something like this:

Me: Boys lets talk about Christmas, is there anything that you’ve been thinking about or are really wanting this year?

Firefly: I know what I want!

Me: Oh?

Firefly: Infinite wishes!

 Me: hmmm.. Lightning Bug, what about you?

Lightning Bug: What do I want for Christmas?

Me: Yes, from Santa or family members, is there anything you want?

Lightning Bug: Snow!

So, if any of you are in the business of providing infinite wishes, or guaranteed snow in Maryland, please let me know.

The rest of the weekend was filled with

Wrestling and giggles

photo 1



“Helping” with the leaves

photo 2



and, science experiments

photo 3




The art of disguise

9 11 2013

There is no lack of imagination here in the little blue house. It is a frequent occurrence that I will say things like:

No swords at the table please


What are you feeding Blaze the Dragon for dinner?

Broccoli (in the form of little green pieces of paper cut up) was the answer…


I don’t think I have time to knit a hat for your stuffy this afternoon

Never mind that I can’t really knit…

Well, Halloween is just about the perfect holiday for boys who love to dress up and pretend.

This year was no exception- we had three costume changes to celebrate the holiday- because why use the same costume more than once?

It all started with Lightning Bug wanting to be Crusher from Skylanders. If any of you have small boys you may be familiar with Skylanders. For those who don’t, it is a video game designed to suck money out of parents’ pockets. Crusher is a character from the game, but Crusher was not school appropriate – no violent costumes, no masks, etc. So, Lightning Bug got on Pinterest. We typed in kids Halloween Costumes and he got to work.
He found some fantastic ideas if you’d like to check them out: http://www.pinterest.com/kmart1/halloween-costumes/.

And two small boys became 6 different characters:

20131109-090905.jpg Bacon and an Old Penny (school costumes- and my favorites).

20131109-091023.jpg Crusher and a Magician (Trick-or-treating costumes).

20131109-091136.jpg Mad Scientist and a Vampire (Costume Party costumes- and very spur of the moment put together with just things in the house.)

But don’t worry, costumes are not limited to just Halloween- yesterday, Firefly created a Personal Disaster Kit- which included some glow sticks, band aids, night vision goggles, and of course…

20131109-092140.jpg A disguise.

6 years old!

18 10 2013

Dear Lightning Bug,

Yesterday, you turned 6 years old- I can’t believe how fast time has gone.  You are doing great in Kindergarten, and when your friends went around in a circle yesterday and each said a nice thing about you, I learned that you are a master at the monkey bars, a very fast runner, and that your classmates love to play with you on the playground.  Your teacher said that you are a generous friend, always willing to give up your seat or the crayon you are using for a classmate who just has to have it at that time.   You’re one of the tallest kids in your class, and in fact are taller than some of the 3rd graders at your school, and you have insisted on growing your hair long which makes you look even older than your 6 years.

I love how smart you are- you have the memory of an elephant, and there are times that I am not sure if you understood something or were even listening and then two weeks later you’ll mention something about it, showing that you not only got it, but retained it and still understood it.  You told me recently that you like to listen, especially to grown-up conversations, so I am going to have to watch out for you…  You love to play, especially with little figurines, making up stories for hours on end.  You also love books, and although you say you can’t read, you’re much better at it than you realize, but its a frustration that its not as easy yet for you as for your big brother.  Last week you loved Ben 10 and then overnight that was out and this week it is Bey Blades- I can’t keep up all the time with the ever changing trends, so birthday presents included Ben 10 things, which even though he’s out, I have a feeling are still actually in, at least a little bit.

You love animals and nature and collecting things.  I think if you could live on an acorn farm you would, with the affinity you have for those round little seeds.  You proudly wore your birthday necklace to school again today, because really just because its not your birthday why should the celebration stop?  For your birthday dinner you requested salmon and brussel sprouts (much to your brother’s chagrin), and you gobbled it down plus rice, green beans and a piece of chicken.  I have no idea where you put it all.  We topped it off with Rainbow cupcakes for dessert, because Rainbow is your favorite color and really who can argue with that?  For your birthday you asked for a brand new box of crayons, because there is just something awesome about having all those crayons brand new instead of digging through a pile of old ones.  The set of crayons you got includes glittery crayons and your eyes lit up- I can’t wait to see the creations you come up with.

Happy Birthday Lightning Bug, you are my smart, silly, creative guy, and I can’t wait to see what this next year brings for you!






1 10 2013

I work at a large university, and a big part of my job is working with students who find themselves in trouble because of their use of drugs and alcohol. I try to use the lessons these students are learning as opportunities for the little bugs to also learn from. So, in age appropriate ways we talk about the dangers of alcohol and drugs, and how never to get in a car with someone who has been drinking. I often wonder if what we talk about is making any impact, and then the little bugs blurt out things that let me know they are listening- sort of…

A few weeks ago I was consulting with some colleagues about an incident that had happened, and the boys were playing, doing homework, etc… As soon as I hung up the phone, Firefly exclaimed,

Mommy! They were drinking ALCOHOL in the residence halls?! Why WOULD they do THAT?!

Oh, Firefly… Let us revisit this when you are 18, 19, 20, and away from home. But for now yes- WHY?!

We also learned recently that we may have to be a bit more specific about what alcohol is, because explaining it as a “grown up drink” seems a bit confusing apparently. We were having dinner at a restaurant, when Lightning Bug eyed my drink and said,

Mommy, G is going to drive home right? I said,

Yes, why?

(For some context G, drives 95% of the time because of horrible motion sickness- and because of my horrible sense of direction).

Lightning Bug’s reasoning?

Because you should never ever drink and drive and you have had A LOT of soda to drink!

So yeah… Learning life lessons one small step at a time.

Quick as a bunny

28 09 2013

There is a blog post/ article that has made its rounds through my Facebook and Twitter feeds- one mom’s experience in trying to stop saying “hurry up” to her kids. I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t seen it: http://www.handsfreemama.com/2013/07/16/the-day-i-stopped-saying-hurry-up/.

The idea of slowing down and allowing your kids more time to notice, explore, and enjoy the world is something I resonate with and struggle with. Lightning Bug is an explorer- it will take him a good five, ten minutes to get to the car or up the stairs, because he will discover things. My house has more rocks and acorns strewn around then I can probably even imagine, because it is rare for us to go anywhere without him finding a treasure that just needs to be collected. He loves to touch leaves and flowers and it is very difficult for him to refrain from picking buds and pretty flowers and seed pods off of trees and plants regardless of whose yard they are in. So we talk about looking with eyes and not touching, and I make a conscious effort to try to allow him that time to explore, but in everyday life when you have a 9am meeting and school is starting soon, it is a real challenge to try to embrace the slow.

Yesterday, in the midst of the morning rush, when Lighting Bug had eaten half his breakfast, had one shoe on, and was creating an elaborate story line with his slinky dog, a rubber duck decorated like a cupcake, and the little suction cup figures he found in our junk drawer meant to decorate wine glasses for identification, I said,

Alright now- come on sweetie- quick like a bunny

His response?

Mommy- you do know that bunnies are not always very quick, right?

I mean really- what can do but smile? We did make it to school on time- although I can’t be sure that he ever put that 2nd shoe on, and I’m quite certain there was half a breakfast sandwich left on the kitchen table all day.