Grady boy.


This boy. He has my heart. Every day he provides me with a new challenge, a new viewpoint, a new outlook. He is so very curious and so very observant. Simply walking from the house to the garage is not an option with him. It turns into a five-minute-long journey filled with bug observation, hopping, jumping, running, splashing (if there are puddles present), and many pleads from mama to focus on the task at hand.


His sweet smile helps me to forget my own hurting heart. We’re missing daddy pretty badly ’round these parts.

He still asks for daddy every day. I’m so happy that he is thinking about him! If I’m being completely honest, I fear that Grady might forget daddy a little bit. I am very concerned over how their close bond will be impacted by nearly a year apart. Grady worships the ground his daddy walks on and I am doing what I can during their time apart to ensure their bond continues to strengthen, despite the miles apart.

Sometimes, I feel like I am already raising a teenager – as this image illustrates. He can be quite ornery. Thankfully, the cuteness and the sweet moments override most of the contentious moments in our relationship.

For this session, I packed along one of Abe’s old toys. Grady is obsessed with this car! It’s just another tie that binds the two together while they cannot be together physically.

All things considered, I feel like we are adjusting well to our new normal. I sometimes wonder if Grady’s more emotional/challenging moments might stem from Abe’s time away from us, then I realize that I am raising a toddler. We will have our difficult moments through our parent-child relationship. I am just thankful that we have one another while we go through this deployment. He is my sweet little buddy. He warms my heart and makes my days bright!


raising a toddler is interesting.

I am not a typical “mom” type. While I absolutely love my own child (obviously) as well as my nieces and nephews, I am not a person that has a strong desire to be around other people’s children, herein referred to as OPC. I find OPC to be cute and such, but I don’t have a strong inclination to really spend time with them. The thought of being an early childhood educator gives me hives. I am not a person who enjoys being touched often. I have a tough time with the endless questions, the constant meeting-of-needs, the forced playing of imaginary/made-up games.

I don’t mean to sound cold or to make it sound as though I completely despise OPC. That is absolutely not the case. I am just saying that dealing with OPC has never been my strong suit. At all. I am most often awkward and, well, mostly silent around children I do not know.

Fortunately, having my own child has somewhat bolstered my ability to really appreciate OPC. I actually enjoy spending (limited amounts of) time with them, getting to know them, and interacting with them now. I’m not signing on to be a preschool teacher or anything, but I find that I am more often entertained and interested when having a conversation or otherwise interacting with OPC since having had Grady.

Becoming a parent has really helped me to remember what it was like to be a child. I really think that’s the key to appreciating your interactions with a child. Children aren’t jaded toward their world. Everything is new to them. Life is full of mystery, adventure, learning, discovery, hope… there are so many things children haven’t experienced. It’s no wonder children have so many questions about everything.

And I do mean everything.

A documentable moment occurred this evening as Grady and I were preparing for bath time. Now, Grady has just turned two-years-old and we often shower together. It is just easier that way. I am able to keep a close eye on him, we both get clean, it is efficient. I am single-mom-ing it right now so I will do what it takes to make my life easier.

I should also mention that I am teaching Grady the anatomically correct words for the parts of his body. I think it is important for a child to be able to use the proper terms when necessary. We do not use cutesy terms for our anatomy in this house, regardless of whether or not the anatomically correct term is widely accepted ’round these parts.

As I was saying, Grady and I were preparing to get into the shower, and as such, were both donning our birthday suits. It is commonplace for Grady to point out the parts of his body, which he had just finished doing when he looked upon my body and said, in complete and utter disbelief… “Mommy penis… all gone!” As though I had somehow misplaced it or used it all up.

Folks, I have to tell you I am still giggling over this hours later. I realize that some may find this story to be inappropriate but, guess what, when I find something a toddler does to be completely and utterly hilarious, I am going to mention it because it just doesn’t happen that often :) And while I am slightly mortified over the incident, I truly believe it was a good teaching moment for Grady (ooooh, the conversation that followed…) and I also truly believe it will be a story I share with his future significant other. I suppose I am like most other moms in that respect.

Children. They certainly are interesting. If OPC were as hilarious as my own, I bet I would enjoy their company even more.

instagram photo dump

A day late, but here we are! Each week, I will unload a few of my favorites I have uploaded to my Instagram feed so that you may have a peek into our life.



1. arm injuries forgiven 2. found a heart in a tree in the woods 3. sweet new kicks 4. pretty keezer and beer fridges 5. kid face-plants peanut butter toast 6. mama made a fire 7. poor buddy wasn’t feeling well 8. painting in the tub helps a little 9. playing at the park with cousins

a first.

This weekend, Grady and I got to experience a first together. It’s a much-dreaded first for most parents. We took our first trip to the Emergency Room.


Friday afternoon, Grady and I had gone down to our town square to spend some time at the park. We played for a good while, enjoying the slides, the swings, balancing on the railroad ties around the perimeter of the park. It was a lot of fun, as usual! On the way back to the car, we stopped by a pizza wagon that was participating in the farmer’s market that afternoon for some oven-fired deliciousness. We got our, pizza, loaded up in the car and made our way home.


While walking into the house from the garage there is a two stair transition from the garage into the house. In one hand, I was holding our pizza and Grady’s sippy cup. With my free hand, I was holding onto Grady’s hand to help him up the stairs as he still sometimes has trouble climbing them. On the way up, Grady tripped on the step so I pulled up on his hand to keep him from falling down the steps.


Immediately, Grady began crying a heart-wrenching sob. It wasn’t a cry I had heard before. I quickly abandon the pizza and the sippy cup of milk to comfort my poor little buddy. After a few minutes, I was able to calm him down and ask him to tell me what hurt. He wasn’t saying much but I noticed that he wasn’t moving his left arm or hand. Uh oh. I asked him to perform a couple basic tasks such as giving me a high-five, pointing out mommy’s nose or cheek or touching mommy’s hair. He refused.


I decided to call the on-call doctor from our family practice and she instructed us to head to the ER as it sounded like a case of nursemaid’s elbow, which is a dislocation of the elbow joint. We made our way to the ER as quickly as we could, Grady’s arm propped up on a folded-up quilt. As pitiful as he looked, it was also terribly cute to see him all snuggled with the quilt in his lap.



We were quickly called back into a room. Grady got lots of attention from the hospital staff. I swear, the child could charm even the most surly being! We were put on the “fast track” since he is such a little guy. The NP checked him over, we got a quick x-ray, Grady got stickers, crayons and a coloring book to occupy us while we waited for the results.


The results of the x-ray showed that the elbow was back where it should be, there were no fractures and we were good to go! I was instructed to give Grady ibuprofen on a strict schedule to keep him from getting too uncomfortable and we were sent on our way.

While no parent wants to take their child to the ER, for us it really wasn’t a terrible experience or really anything to dread. I would have preferred we not spend our Friday evening in a hospital room with my little guy in pain but, you know, it could have been worse. The hospital staff was incredibly friendly, efficient, helpful and sympathetic. They were all so very sweet with Grady and I wasn’t made to feel like a terrible mom for injuring Grady’s arm. As far as ER experiences go, I’d say our first wasn’t bad at all.

Grady is now feeling much better though his arm is still pretty tender if we go too far between doses of ibuprofen. The NP explained that since Grady’s elbow has dislocated once, it is more likely to happen again. Fortunately if it does happen again we will know the signs and know what to do. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that we don’t have to worry about it again. I know that, from now on, I will be much more careful in assisting Grady up the stairs! I can tell you, though, Grady was much more concerned over his missing pizza than anything that was going on at the hospital. He asked for it about two dozen times while we were waiting. He is such a resilient little guy.



little storyteller

From time-to-time, I will be posting videos of Grady that I find to be funny, cute or otherwise entertaining.


Grady was telling me a story about his pajamas. Who knew pajamas could be so exciting?