6.0 Times Two

I could sit and listen to the two of them talk for hours. They go from idle chatter to fighting to laughing to arguing to happily playing together. There are injuries and hurt feelings every day, but most of all they love each other and would rather be together than apart. These two boys have grown into the best of friends and I love watching their relationship grow with them.

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They like building things and knocking them down. Chasing each other and falling down. Watching each other play a game and cheering each other on. Above all they love playing Ninja and Jedi – Star Wars is a constant and anything they can hold can become a light saber.

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Last week we were at a friend’s house and I was watching them play with the group of kids on the trampoline. I saw Wyatt sitting in the middle of the trampoline and he was crying. And then Ruslan crouched down and hugged him and talked to him and then rolled on top of him and they were both laughing. Hugs one minute and wrestling the next – that sums up their relationship.

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Instead of waking me up first thing in the morning, they wake up each other. And then they find something to do together. They have become the constant companions that people told me about.

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A few weeks ago Ruslan and I were walking across a parking lot hand-in-hand. I asked him if he had to turn 6 or if he could stay 5 forever. He was quiet for a moment and then told me that maybe he could stay 5-1/2 and then he continued, “but I am going to keep getting bigger even if I don’t turn six and I will be the biggest 5-1/2 year old that there ever was.” I squeezed his hand and told him that it would be okay if he turned six.

Happy Birthday Ruslan and Wyatt!


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Not Your Typical Love Song

Do you and your significant other have a song? Whether it was the song that played for your first dance on your wedding day or a song that reminds you of the time period when you first met; it’s a song that makes you think of each other.

Scott and I have a song, but it’s not a typical love song. I don’t remember where we were going, but we were in the car. Scott was driving and I told him that we needed a song that was ours. I brought it up as more of a joke then anything else so we laughed and decided that the next song that came on the radio would be our official song.

It was 2003 and this song was very popular. A few key phrases will remind most people of this song when they hear them such as “shake it like a polaroid picture”.

Yes, our song is Hey Ya by Outkast. If you are unfamiliar with the lyrics, it is a very upbeat song that talks about a failing relationship and that “nothing lasts forever”. It is pretty much the opposite of happily ever after.

Hey Ya is on one of my regular playlists and every time I hear it I smile, and I am reminded of those early days when we first fell in love. So maybe it is a love song after all.


The Long Easter Weekend

Tomorrow will be the final day of the 5-day weekend for the children. Juliana told me that she wishes that there was school tomorrow, so either the last 4 days have been boring or too much fun – let’s go with the later.

Although I wasn’t able to take any time off work, we managed to pack a lot into the past few days. Our local childcare program was open on Thursday so they spent the day playing with old friends. They spent most of Friday with Nana and Nonni will have them for a good bit of tomorrow.

Friday evening Juliana and I ran away to a friend’s house and we hung out, jumped on the trampoline, ate too many snacks, and dyed eggs. I brought an egg dye set that came with glitter. The glitter floated on top of the water like an oil slick and coated the eggs when they were pulled out of the cup. The instructions also recommended sprinkling additional glitter on the eggs while they were still wet. We did not relay that idea to the girls.

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Saturday morning the Easter Bunny made the annual rounds through our neighborhood. When Ruslan heard the siren of the lead police car, he threw his hands in the air.

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Then is was time to dye more eggs.

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Today was a beautiful spring day! It was a perfect afternoon for an egg hunt. They started with a few treats in their buckets and then they had to find all of the eggs with their initial on them. The three of them ran around the yard, up and down the driveway, crawled under bushes and even climbed a tree.

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We Aren’t Getting Married Until We Are 29

The week before parent-teacher conferences we received a paper from school with suggested questions and topics that we might want to cover in our conferences. I have a good relationships with all 3 teachers and if there are any issues I know about them so I don’t have a lot of questions at conference time. Sure I was happy to see Juliana’s high grades and ever improving test scores, and it was great to learn more about Wyatt opening up and being more interactive in class, but this time I went with one question on my mind.

Scott and I sat at the tiny table and I looked down at the stack of papers in front of Ruslan’s teacher and said, “We can get to the official papers later, but I want to talk about Lulu*!”

Ms. O slammed her hands down on the table and exclaimed, “Yes, we should definitely talk about Ruslan and Lulu!”

Ruslan has been talking about Lulu every day for weeks. He told us how amazing she is, and that she was as tall as a second grader (and it was ok if he had to stand on a step to be as tall), and that her hair is so pretty, and that he loves her so much. I asked if Lulu knew that he liked her and he said yes because he makes finger hearts for her.


Ms. O told us that one day Ruslan emptied Lulu’s mailbox when it was time to pack up and neglected his own papers to help her get ready to go. He had to be reminded that he is responsible for his belongings and Lulu is responsible for her own stuff. Ruslan told Ms. O that he loves Lulu and Lulu replied that she loved Ruslan too.

We also brought up Ruslan and Lulu when we were talking to Wyatt’s teacher since the two classes spend so much time together. And she told us about a day when Ms. O was out and she found Ruslan sitting in the corner of the room surrounded by all of the girls in his class and he was sad. Why was he sad…they had to work with a partner and Lulu was with someone else. Every other girl in the class was sitting there consoling him and volunteering to be his partner and he could only focus on the one girl who couldn’t be his partner.

Most days Ruslan tells me that Lulu is his favorite person and that they are going to get married. Of course I don’t need to worry about that happening any time soon. Ruslan knows that they can’t married now, he says that they are waiting until they are 29.

He hugs her goodbye at the end of the day and blows her kisses from the bus. I need to meet this girl who has stolen my place as Ruslan’s favorite person.

*name changed
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Two Thumbs Up for Spring

The last few months can be summarized in two words: cold and snow. That means that I have pictures like this one from a March snow day with the children attached to their kindles because it was too cold to play outside.


And when it was warm enough to play outside, it meant snow pants and hats and gloves and shovels.

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Yesterday it was warm, the kind of warmth that means that spring is coming, and we played outside. Instead of snow and faces staring at technology, I captured children flying toward me in a blur on scooters and climbing trees.
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We went for a walk and it was glorious to be outside without even a light jacket. Ruslan approves of evenings spent outside.


At Least Someone is Enjoying the Potholes


The sun was shining today, the temperature is climbing, the snow is melting, and the potholes are filling with water. Puddles make children very happy!




. . . → Read More: At Least Someone is Enjoying the Potholes

If I Need to Run


If I need to run (and all of the food and wine says yes), then running on the top deck of the ship as the sun sets on our amazing day in Belize, is the best way to do it.

Ten Years Ago, Part 5: One of the Best Days of My Life


It was an ordinary Friday. Scott had gone snowboarding and I decided to go to Target with my mom. Except this wasn’t an ordinary trip to Target, I was going to buy a pregnancy test and of course I had to fill my cart with lots of other stuff so my mom wouldn’t notice . . . → Read More: Ten Years Ago, Part 5: One of the Best Days of My Life

The Dinosaur Love Continues


He still carries his Diplodocus around the house. He stomps and growls like a dinosaur when he wants attention. He still reads this book almost every night before bed – the covers have fallen off, pages are ripped, and he can tell you the page numbers of his favorite dinosaurs.

When my friend Rachel . . . → Read More: The Dinosaur Love Continues

Do You Want to Hand Craft an Artisanal Snowman


We already had 8 inches of snow in our yard and then added a few more inches yesterday. Once the snow stopped, the temperature climbed and it was warm enough for the children to play outside for a long time without getting cold - run wild, dig, roll around, and build.

Ruslan was much more . . . → Read More: Do You Want to Hand Craft an Artisanal Snowman