Stevie Wonder with The Harlem Boys Choir-Live

Me, my mom and sister at my brother’s wedding.

I’m really missing my mom this holiday season. What I want to tell her:

One of her granddaughters is recovering quickly from hip surgery.

One of her granddaughters got a new job offer.

One of her granddaughters danced beautifully as Captain of the Soldiers in The Nutcracker.

One of her grandsons, who is in the United Stated Army, will be stationed on the East Coast in a couple of months.

And I received amazing feedback on a picture book manuscript.

So, to my mom and all those that we miss…

December Defined (A Short Video)

DSC_3682

Happy New Year!

December 1, the term “December Defined” popped into my head.  Children’s book author Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo had challenged me to come up with a new picture book idea every day for a month.  I did it!  And I felt like my new ideas defined the beginning of the month.

piboidmo2013-winnerbadge-700x700

Then, as I’m sure is true for all of you, December surged forward like a crowd of screaming teenage girls trying to get closer to a pop singer.  I thought about December now and in the past, and created a photo montage of family and friends. Mining photos, I included December photos plus a couple others.

My tween came home from middle school chorus practice singing “Simple Gifts,” so the video is set to that Shaker classic as well as a few seconds of the middle school chorus singing “Winterlight” and “Seasons of Love.” I hope you enjoy the 3 minute plus video.  I’m raising my virtual glass of champagne in a toast to a wonderful 2014.  Clink!

Hon, what defines December for you?

Credit for the beautiful version of “Simple Gifts” must be given to the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, in a video posted by James Roman.

 

19 On The 19th (Happy Birthday to My Triplets!)

Happy 19th Birthday to my triplets!

Senior Prom Pic of Baby A, B and C, 2012
Senior Prom Pic of Baby A, B and C, 2012

My Plus One, also known as “Tween Daughter” says it’s a magical birthday when your birthday falls on the date you were born. Guess what? Baby A was born at 11:19 am! Baby B followed at 11:20 and Baby C showed up at 11:24. Quite a productive five minutes, wouldn’t you say hon?

Sonogram at 9 weeks.
Sonogram at 9 weeks.
Baby A
Baby A
Baby B
Baby B
Baby C
Baby C

In honor of my “babies” turning 19, here’s a list of 19 fun facts about their childhood.

1.  When I was pregnant, Baby A was so squished she punched and kicked like crazy.  Baby B sat up and hung out, and Baby C frequently got the hiccups.

2.  Baby A weighed 2 lbs, 9 oz and came home after 6 1/2 weeks in the NICU.  Baby B was the biggest at 4 lbs, 12 oz and came home after 10 days.  Baby C weighed 4 lbs, 4 oz and came home on day 12.

3.   Our 2 year-old son climbed out of his crib and by the next day, his sisters did, too.

4.  All three woke up at the 6 am every morning no matter what time they went to sleep.

5. When the kids were toddlers, if one child came in our bed, all three would end up in our bed by the end of the night.  We called it “Triplet Radar!”

6.  During the week, as soon as the kids heard Daddy’s car in the driveway, they’d line up.  When he walked in the door, they’d take turns running towards him so he could pick them up and swing them high.

7.  I once entered the kids’ bedroom and it seemed, well, shiny!  Vaseline had been smeared across dressers and in hair.

8.  Another time, two of the three kids had stepped in a giant tub of diaper rash ointment and created white, gooey footprints on their bedroom rug.

9.  The kids knocked a tall dresser down so we bolted it to the wall.  We got rid of standing lamps.

10.  Baby gates didn’t stop the little monkeys from coming out of their bedroom so we put one on top of the other.

11.  I came in the kids’ bedroom to find ALL of the audio tapes with recordings of their first words shredded like confetti.  Stacking boxes, they reached the top dresser drawer where they found the tapes.

12.  After exploring the fireplace, they jumped up and down on they couches until they were covered in soot.

13.  Two siblings always ganged up on the third sibling–it didn’t matter which two.

14.  There was so much fighting about car seats and bath time, I created car and bath charts to determine who sat where and who took the dreaded “first bath.”

15.  When the kids melted down in restaurants, I called it live “Dinner Theatre.”

16.  They lasted about 1/2 hour in their first movie (101 Dalmations) and were more interested in the candy counter.

17.  The kids had combined boy/girl birthday parties through third grade when one boy playfully stabbed a girl with a foam noodle and broke her finger.

18.  There were only two classes in each grade of elementary school so the kids were in the same class until 5th grade when two were in one class and one was in another.

19.  In evenings and on car trips, we read books out loud together.  I started reading the Harry Potter series to them when they were in 2nd grade and we read all of the books, in addition to classic literature, together until senior year of high school.

Bonus Fun Fact:  When the kids were toddlers, some people insisted that the redheads were identical even though one’s a girl and one’s a boy! My response:  “They can’t be identical if one has something the other one doesn’t have!!!”

Dressing up in grocery bags but one is windowless!
Dressing up in grocery bags but one is windowless!

Antidote to Evil–Family

Lean on me.
Lean on me.

This week’s posts will be my take on “Antidotes to Evil.”  The phrase popped in my head last week after news of the Boston Marathon bombing.  My youngest daughter expressed concern about not being safe at a marathon, movies, mall or in school.  I told her when I was her age, we didn’t worry (or even think) about the horrific things she sees in the news. Then I gave her a hug.

Family is one of the most important “Antidotes to Evil,” and one facet of family is siblings. My father took and developed the photo above in his darkroom. In this picture taken at the Maryland shore, I am standing in the middle while my sister and brother are on either side of me. Hon, this photo of us is one of my favorites!

Now that we are grown up, my sister, brother and I don’t slam each other’s bedroom doors, play tricks on each other, push and shove each other in the backseat of our parents’ cars, spy on each other when we have friends over or whine that, “It’s not fair…!”  As adults, my siblings and I support each other.

What word describes your relationship with your siblings?  How are they and your family your “Antidote to Evil?”

My sister and her youngest daughter.
My sister and her youngest daughter.
My brother on his wedding day.
My brother and his beautiful bride on their wedding day.  (disclaimer, I didn’t take this photo.)
Triplets plus one.
Triplets plus one, the next generation.
My immediate family.
My immediate family.