100 percent chance of rain

The sky lights up a haunting orange for several seconds, then the color pales to an eerie peach.

Fog hangs over the tall, illuminated buildings, holding them so tight in places that they disappear in the grasp.

A steady tap teases the windows of our hotel room. Thunder claps chase the lightening. The heat of the last few days has been squelched.

When he wakes up, his disappointment will rain down like this storm.

No fishing in City Park unless this lets up, and it’s all mom’s fault for picking Thursday.

Library hopping, toy window shopping


Just he and I

So rarely do Ya and I go out together.

Of late, Ri is always claiming more attention because she’s younger.  Now I see why my son asked me would he still be my baby after she was born. Focus seems to shift between “she who does it first and is most involved” and “she who is most dependent.”  As the middle kid here, he really has it rough.

[Side note: I’m thinking I should call my own middle brother now and tell him I love him and he’s awesome– which he is, but now it’s on my mind to thank him for being the mid-kid.]

Truth be told, Ya is a special young man trying really hard to be the star of something. I didn’t notice how quickly he is growing up. His winter coat is suddenly way too small and his wrists are exposed to the biting cold. Overnight,  his size 7 pants rose above his ankles (revealing the pervasive ash of chilly weather).  And just yesterday, he joined me at his old school to pick up Ri. His former teachers smiled and greeted my son and three people remarked separately “you’ll be taller than your mom soon.”  It hit me.

Like Rico, who never missed a chance to wrap me in an embrace, Ya craves that contact.  Before bed, he wants a hug – sometimes several in succession as though he forgot we’d said goodnight.

At school, he lingers to say goodbye, though he dare not be too mushy in public.  And he often begs for movie night or game night or anything we can do together.  I have to savor these moments before they become memory.



We shared one brief afternoon during break in AC. We ventured into those vicious winds to walk the Boardwalk.

Sunday at Chinn

To remember:

For nearly 45 minutes you played with these balls, animating each while providing it with a unique voice and personality. The balls held conversations, began an adventure, and enjoyed being together.

We’ll try to forget how you pushed at your brother when he tried to join your play, and the evil eye you shot at the little boy who took interest in one of the wire tracks opposite you.

Ya found an illustrated book on JFK.  He was most interested in the page with him playing football in the leather helmet.  “How could that possibly help you when you hit your head?” he mused.

Ri seemed to find all the books that matched movies and TV shows, but mean Mommy refused to check any of those out.  Daddy didn’t want any more animal books, but they seem to be the most abundant on the shelves.  I was surprised to find that every featured book atop the shelves was about snow or penguins, until Chi pointed out the winter connection.  Duh!

Friday’s book reading: The Everything Machine {by Matt Novak}. Awesome storyline with images that were easily readable.

Yesterday’s book reading: Butterflies for Kirin {by Cathryn Falwell} had a great concept and lovely art, but the story didn’t grab Ri’s attention at all. Monster Needs A Party {written by Paul Czajak and illustrated by Wendy Grieb} featured lively images reminiscent of animation and a rhymed story that was fun to read.  We’ll definitely read this again.

Accidents and Photoshop Magic

The other day, Ya wanted to try his hand at photo editing. Specifically, he wanted to edit a few photos of himself from Thanksgiving Day.

You see, he’d had a rough break from school. On Tuesday, he was preparing to race home against the darkness and the street lights (a race he always loses). Just before he began, however, he had one more play of alley football. And it was that play that ended in a collision. He came home bloodied and in pain, having split the corner of his lip from front to back with his teeth.

His dad took him to urgent care, where the doctor confirmed what I’d already said: stitches. It took two numbing shots and five stitches to close the large wound. I was told he was a trooper – – he didn’t cry and was quite the tough guy despite a fear of needles.

Then, on Wednesday, he insisted on helping with the hamburgers.

Side note: My track record with the patties is a little sketchy. Chi would say I’m a bit dangerous with them, as I pan fry the suckers and it usually results in smoke. One time, it set off the fire alarms, and Chi grabbed her then-infant brother and raced down the stairs and out the house to save him.

So, Ya molded the meat into patties, and seasoned them. When we had a stack ready, I turned on the burner and heated the pan. Several patties into the cooking process, Ya stood over the pan watching them sizzle when the grease popped. It hit him just above the eyebrows in the center of his forehead – an odd little circle formed where it got him.

The resulting appearance featured these two injuries prominently.  There was no hiding the large cut on his lip – which appeared even larger when the stitches popped the day after they were sewn.  And the circular burn shown a light cream patch on otherwise beautifully brown skin.

Our traditional Thanksgiving pictures took place anyway.  So when I opened up our family pictures, Ya joined me to polish them in PhotoShop.

We opened up his portraits and, at his request, I walked him through the spot editing features that would minimize the appearance of his newly-earned temporary blemishes.

And then he broke my heart: “I wish I could jump in the computer and edit my face, too.”

Halloween 2016 – Zombie to Death

img1928-copy img1930-copy img1941-copy img1932-copy img1912-copy Our we’re running late and have five minutes for a costume look was this zombie kid.  It was a good look for the Stonebridge Halloween celebration.

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