Lilly’s First Thanksgiving…

28 11 2008

it matters to me…

the Norman Rockwell-like image of Thanksgiving. it matters to me.

i began the day writing a letter to my own mother…and my aunt Sheryl and my cousin Chelsea…and Christian, Dave, Eric,…and Aslan (i will not mail any of them…things and stuff…but i did start my day surrounded by thoughts of Lilly and those other loved ones) i wanted them to know that i was thankful and treasure the moments.

silly and sentimental…i know

Lilly and i showed up to shelter #1 at 7:30 AM. delivered pies and we were put right to work counting place settings, napkins, peeling and whatever else (Lilly supervised and looked cute…two tasks she excels at!)

at 1:40 PM we moved over to shelter #2 (not really a shelter…it was a church-sponsored program, but the recipients there seemed far worse off…you can just tell… eyes cast down…fresh sores and bruises…the kids clinging and nervous) i served for the most part there…and when things weren’t quite so busy, i pulled out a deck of cards and manage to coax a few kids to play a game…(my card game skills are limited to go fish and crazy eights…lol…but even that was eventually shut down by one of the church officials…pfft…me and my corrupt ways!! lol)

the parade of those needing to be fed seemed like it would go on forever…and i felt terrible for those who arrived late and didnt receive the full meal. other than breaks to feed, change and play with Lilly, i worked straight through (IT WAS WONDERFUL TO HAVE SOMETHING USEFUL TO DO and so many people who came were pleased to see Lilly there too)

dishes done, Lilly and i returned home…where upon we found Bryan in the driveway along with his daughter Molly. he anticipated that i wouldnt take the time to feed myself today (the food there wasnt for us to eat and so we didnt) so he made Lilly and i a care package of leftovers and brought me a turkey leg so i could make turkey soup.

Molly and Lilly sat upon the quilts looking at books. Bryan made us a fire and went to work in the kitchen…i must have looked pretty ragged, b/c he insisted that i had time to clean-up and change.

do you know that i dont actually recall the last time i took a bath or shower without Lilly with me? it felt entirely [sinfully] odd…but wonderful at the same time as my leg, back and left arm were aching terribly.

when i returned downstairs Bryan had the entire feast spread upon the table in the back (the one Lilly and i purchased a couple weeks ago from and antique store to go with our booth)…complete with candles. he handed me a mug of tea and…

and it was a very truly kind and memoriable gesture

he even did the dishes, brought me a glass of wine and sat upon the quilts with the girls and i…Molly attempting to teach Lilly songs she learned in preschool…

it was just a nice way to wind down the day.

before leaving Byran checked the fire for us one more time and said he had figured out Christmas decoration plans for the house…

he’s coming back tomorrow to check something on the furnace or something… idk…my brain is full

(and now i need to remember to breathe…b/c Lilly is holding out my phone to me…sry…she doesnt understand that my heart is broken and has been for a very long while now…sry)


24 11 2008

i’ve been lying here a bit…again

that numb tingled state after a much-needed and very overdue 2 hours of contiguous sleep.

the Buffalo Bills won (shhh… of course we know they should have won against KC…but dont say that too loud or the fates will hear and spoil their chances with SF)

sleeping-2i smile b/c Lilly and i desperately needed that sleep…it has been a while…in fact, i was wholly unaware that i was asleep…until, of course, i awoke to Lilly crawling over the top of me and conversing with the dead phone…

she seemed happy…squeals and giggles and “me-dahs”…and the ocassional “muah” b/c kissing sounds are her trademark lately (well, when she’s not been sick).

i will let her play with it a bit longer…it’s dead or the battery has slipped from its duct-taped case. idk… it’s good to see her giggle again… it has been a few days. (and she loves what that phone has come to represent in her tiny lifetime.)

sleeplessness may have directly altered my perception… we are hunkered down in the kitchen behind the pennisula…though the house is a fortress of locks and barricades. my counselor talked me down… there is very lil i can do about certain situations (and there is nothing i will do in other situations…it would end up hurting the one i want to hurt the least!)

i guess it all really doesnt matter…Lilly’s giggling and i have awoken from a couple pleasant memories and one incredible dream…i will lie here and blush a few moments more in the hazy remnants…unfinished, but yeah…

and when i can regain my focus…i will need to make several orderly lists to carry me through what needs to be done in the real world…for the rest of the week.


three for three


2 AM update: mmm… there are times (many, many frequent times) that i wish you never had a gf…i know you do… i’ve come to realize you did from the start and when i found out about her it took all my strength (and then some) to be good …to stay away… (b/c i never wanted you for a night…you, my dearest love, were meant to be savored…rinsed and repeated…every inch kissed and explored and touched…BIG SMILES). and times…like now… i can still so clearly hear your voice in my head… deep, low and seductively sweet. and at this moment…i want to taste and …ooo the things i want to do to you…. i sooo wanna play (!!!!!)

smiles and kisses at 1:15 AM

23 11 2008

it is silent at the moment

no fussing or coughing

no cars or ghostly headlights tracing across the front wall

just me…holding her…warm and sweet and dreaming

hushed hours passing unnoticed by all

except me

and the tiny glowing embered remains of the fire

and the candle flame that dances at the window

always waiting

(and hopeful)

alone in my quiet nightwatch

i can still faintly hear

the most comforting sounds of you

falling asleep

and i smile

2 AM Snowplow

21 11 2008

it’s after 2AM and Lilly and i are walking about the house again. she is uncomfortable and needs to be held…i’m just walking with the weight of the world.

i heard that unmistakably loud rattled sound of a snowplow…not on my street… maybe not even plowing quite yet…a mid-night snow stalker booming down the next street over…

and i think of him

does he still plow? is he pushing snow around in that parking lot again…

he and i…sometimes so much alike…working the odd jobs to fill the spaces. quiet, solo employment…there but unseen

he’d text, b/c he’d know i was awake… a bit of mid-night company…he alone in his cab…me alone at Em’s apt on Beverly… (or later, when they let me bring her home, up to feed the baby)…

he’d text b/c he and i had this amazing connection where i’d suddenly think of him, look at my phone (needing him soooooo!) and there he was


eating the hours in between with the best companion…sweetest thoughts…two lonely souls… endless, tireless convesations and smiles that could warm the world on a cold winter night.


(i heard a plow and thought of you…)

smiles and kisses

lil notes in your pocket…and only you know why

Lilly’s Snowflakes

17 11 2008

it is snowing again in Rochester…our backyard looks like it has been covered with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar. (just thinking about it makes my nose run)

Lilly crawled her way to the patio door and watched her breath fog the window panes…temporarily confused by the grayish breath-blob blocking her view…she rolled to her belly and moved herself over.

but then it became a game. she leaned in closer…almost licking the glass…and watched as the gray blur grew… then pounded Lilly prints in it…

squealed…wagged her arms and turned expecting praise for her fantastic NEW discovery.

lemme tell you…that was amusing for the first 25 times! (hehe)

then the flakes became larger…a ripe temperature for multiple flakes to stick together and resemble those compound constructions from Chem class. (do you remember those…styrafoam balls with letters stuck together with toothpicks??)

no longer content with watching the snow (she calls it “mo-z”) or fogging the window, her lil hand turned…palm-up… and fingers wiggling back and forth…Lilly wanted to be out in it and indicated in her universal “come here” motion.

several tackle-the-baby-struggle-with-the coat minutes later…we were out in it. she would have nothing to do with her mittens and hat. she wanted to feel the snow. (and wanted to stay out in it longer than i could bear its damp coldness in my blanket.)

it coated her eyelashes and instantly her tongue darted from her mouth to catch and taste the flakes falling from the sky. we walked about the yard and spied our squirrel. i shook a few deposits from the low branches which made her giggle and want to do the same.

rosey cheeked and satisfied…Lilly touched snow today.

i wish you had been here to see her, Aslan

smiles and kisses

Memories from a Bookstore

11 11 2008

the thermometer said 40 degrees…it lies of course, because i remember last march when 40 degrees felt soooo much warmer!

the sky foretold my mood…coarse splotches of sloe (it’s a word…look it up!) clouds…drs. appts and paying bills…i dislike tuesdays (dislike even more the fact that i am reduced to paying bills the day before their stated due date instead of immediately after they arrive in the mail!)

but i also had a meeting with Mike to talk surf and turf ideas for next season to look forward to (Mike makes seafood seem not quite so evil!)

…so with an hour to waste before heading into Pittsford Wegmans, Lilly and i tucked ourselves into Barnes and Noble and headed immediately back to the children’s section where i peeled her out of her excess (coat, hat and mittens…yes, mittens that she chewed to a damp rag!)…man was the children’s section crowded today…so much so that i hesitated placing her on the Doggies (Boynton Board Books (Simon & Schuster))stage beneath the illustrated Winnie the Pooh cut-outs… but Lilly would hear nothing of breaking with that bookstore tradition! grabbing her a blue Sandra Boyton book (they’re cardboard and thus drool-proof) i sat Lilly on the left edge of the stage. idk…it’s her and i alone so much that i didnt think she would know what to do with the herd of other children (was today a holiday?).

but not Lilly…a turn and flop to her belly and then she and her book were up and crawling with purpose to the back section. she bypassed two lil girls (maybe age 6 or 7) and one blonde hair boy sitting forelornly and picking his nose (yes! well done, Lilly!)…and she trekked directly to the lil boy with the short dark brown hair and olive eyes (maybe 4 or 5 at most). once there, she sat to his left and held up her book to him nodding with the most earnest look. the young boy must have siblings, or a wonderful set of parents, because rather than instantly rebuking her, he turned and talked to her, pointing at her book (and eventually turning it upside-right) YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN HER HUGE SMILE!!!

and i breathed again

ok…maybe it’s just me…but these lil excursions sometimes feel like the ultimate test of my parenting. i remember when my sister Alyssa was lil and placed in a similar scene… she’d always be the child who would tear the toy, book, food, whatever from the other child’s hand or pull hair causing an avalanche of tears and mayhem. yes, she was lil…yes, babies are unpredictable (yes, there were times when Alex would make matters worse by chanting, “you can take her!” when he, himself was only 3) and mortified i’d always be the one to have to apologize and attempt to correct the behavior with the softest most embarrassed “no, no” scoop her up and duck away.

Lilly, i will be writing you a thank you note for this one…

Lilly sat with the dark haired boy for eleven minutes…but then i heard a mother’s voice callout, “Rory” and saw the lil boy stand, pat Lilly on the head and leave…and the smile turned instantly into a big-bottom-lipped pout…her eyes followed first…tearing and then she flopped to her belly once again and i think she was actually attempting to follow him. i searched the store quickly hoping to find the source of the mother’s voice (maybe a name? address? playdate? idk…what would you do??? this is Lilly’s heart!) but then the first of Lilly’s pitiful cries began and i had to wade my way through children to retrieve her. once scooped she curled her head against my chest and popped her thumb in her mouth…coat, hat, mittens and book all dropped.

face it…neither of us understand goodbyes.

i debated whether to leave the store instantly to preserve what was left of her dignity, but as we were walking past the back wall, Lilly spied a picture book with a pug on it entitled “I Once Ate A Pie.”  i carried her over to the other side of the children’s section and we sat down and began reading the book…each page containing a different doggie on it (and yes, she can point to the doggies when asked)

not more than five pages into the book Lilly spotted the stuffed animal…first she pulled down Curious George in pjs and loved him to death…and then she did something i have never seen her do before… with strong lil arms, Lilly pulled herself up and stood next to the stuffed animal rack…wobbley at first, but held tight…reaching for the golden retriever stuffed animals above.

well, yeah, naturally, a cascade of golden retrievers, Curious Georges and a few other assorted stuffed animals came tumbling down on Lilly when she too fell to her butt. undaunted, Lilly turned and headed directly for the Thomas the Tank Engine table and stood again… this time she held fast to the table with one hand and pivoted around its perimeter. she watched and watched as this other lil girl moved the trains about the track and squealed and giggled. (while i picked up the pile of stuffed animals.)

after paying our bills this morning we had only $26.77 left for the week. i bought Lilly the Boyton book, and a cardboard “Curious George and the Bunny”…i think i can survive without the Benadryl and lotion for a while longer (with my discount, i should be able to afford 2% and juice). the book with the pug and the stuffed puppy were too dear in cost…

maybe i will be able to work the whole time next weekend and bring in extra tips. Aslan always says he spoils Zach, unapologetically…i do know what he means…some people save the presents for special holidays…but for some people the chance to spend time with their child IS a holiday.

smiles and kisses

a light in the window

9 11 2008

fall weather is so fickle. one moment bright sun and apple picking, the next gray with cold dampness and rain unsuitable for anything but snuggling under blankets and reading. soon it will be time to revisit my front parlor (hardly a living room, as it sits empty and abandoned most of the year) and rediscover my 1st floor fireplace.

with any luck i will keep the fuel bill at bay!

our squirrel in the back continues to stockpile. much to Lilly’s joy, he is out there, on our patio, daily scrounging. i, at times, envy his fur coat! i think i will take his lead and stockpile some soup for the days ahead.

this post is most decidedly scattered…scattered and distracted…and in need of an organized list. (ooo…you hear that? a list!) part of the problem is that i can only half-attend to the computer.

Lilly is on the quilts on the floor, surrounded by a sea of books. Aslan reminds me to talk to her…it’s unnecessary advice, but it makes me smile nonetheless. (Aslan…she turns her head when you call out her name, she waves when asked…and sometimes independently, she hums, and turns the pages of each of her books, “talking” out loud as if she were reading the words on each one…smiles!!)

beside me on the stove i am cooking hot cocoa. i plan on giving Lilly her first tastes of chocolate once it has heated…then cooled to an appropriate temperature for her. 

i experimented with gingerbread yesterday as the chill set in and have a good portion remaining on my counter. i made two whipped toppings…one regular and one with rum (perhaps fortifying myself for work last night…lol)

cocoa and gingerbread aside…i had a very unexpectedly delicious start to my weekend. i am still smiling as the after effects are dancing about in my brain. i find myself replaying bits and trying to understand if i missed a meaning. all was spilled so quickly on so many topics…and how on earth can you tell with IM…if someone is responding to the last comment or a comment two before???

silly language…by whatever means, it is sooooo easily misinterpreted.

nothing gained…nothing promised, but still i am happy for moments that were given to me…

once upon a time, people used to leave a single candle by a front window. that light symbolized and communicated so much more than words could express. it was a symbol of prayer for a loved one sent off to war…a single promise from wife to husband at sea to guide him safely home…a beacon for a weary traveler needing shelter from the storm…

there have been far too many storms in my life… but yesterday, i decided that i was going to once again light the candle in the front window. the first time i lit it in this house was Dec 7, 2007…and for the nights i was actually able to be in this house, i lit the candle (and several replacement candles) every night in hope…until Aug 4, 2008.

i will light the candle once again… it can easily say all the “things and stuff” that i fall far too short, incomplete and undeserving to communicate.

i am here…and you are thought of

smiles and kisses