Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Playdate with Sarah

As a stay-at-home mom it is vital to have contact with the outside world. This contact usually provides itself in the form of "playdates." The general idea is that if your kids have some friends to play with, you will have the opportunity to converse with adults and regain a feeling of sanity.

Sometimes this sanity comes at great cost.

My dear friend, Sarah, and her four-year old son, Camren-the ying to Owen's yang-came over yesterday for a playdate. Its fun to see how the kids literally collide at the door and then just have at it from that moment on. Sarah and I have often been amazed at how well our kids have done in the past, playing while we gab to our heart's content. Admittedly this day was a bit more chaotic, but neither of us had any idea what was happening literally 25 feet away.

Down the hall in our small, 9X9 playroom the boys were having their way! Sarah and I, as usual were talking up until the last second before she had to pick up her daughter. As she is trying to cajole Carmen into leaving our house, our eyes were opened to the massecre that had become our playroom! Owen and Camren had emptied and turned over all nine drawers of my 3-tier organizing bins, a bucket of stuffed animals, three trains (not including the one pictured!), and several other rubbermaid tubs containing play food, dishes and other various and sundry items! Amidst the chaos were cars, trains, ponies, barbies, sporting goods, blocks, tracks, coloring supplies, mcdonald's toys, cheerleading pom-poms and more! Praise the Lord they did not climb up and empty out the puzzle boxes!

As I surveyed the mess a startling thing happened! I laughed, bid farewell to Camren and Sarah, and said, "Well, Owen, its a good thing I like to organize!" My normal proclivity is not towards humor, but rather impatience, but alas, God was gracious to little Owen. I probably should have engaged him in the clean-up song and demanded his participation, but the disaster was so far beyond his reach I didn't even try. I spent the next full hour returning each item back to its proper place. For good measure, I even vacuumed!

What fun it must be to be a small boy. And, though requiring a bit of a sense of humor, it is well worth the disasterous times!

PS: I totally had Owen pose for this picture. He had no idea why, but I knew it was going to be blogged into his history-FOREVER!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

4th Folder, 4th Picture

Well, here it is Emily Rose Durham Johns, Rosie to those who love her Fourth Folder, FOURTH PICTURE. Do you feel guilty? Don't. I love it.

This picture is soooo my mom. And I am doing my first blog ever about her, in death or in life. Not only that, but she is holding one of my most precious gifts, little mister himself.

Taken in June of 2005, this picture reminds me of so many things!

We were living in a different location, "The Verandas at Hazelgrove", and Isaac was working tirelessly at The Bridge. has surely changed.

My mom's hair here cracks me up! My dad loved having my mom's hair long and because she was convinced it was thinning, she continued to perm it into a poodle due long after the style went out. My sister and I would plead with her to do something new, but she had a really hard time with change! Ironically, she cut it short just before she died and I never saw it-actually, I did, but just once, and I'd rather not talk about that just now...

Also, her eyes are closed! She was never any good at posing for pictures! Hated it in fact, but tirelessly snapped away at the kiddos and myself. I was quite the martyr to her hobby.

Thirdly, the poncho. Now I have to say, she would turn over in her grave if she knew she missed out on the return of the dreaded poncho. I laugh so hard when I see people wearing them now! My mom has sewn and worn her own ponchos since long before I was born and I just cringed at it when my friends came over growing up! How embarrassing, right? But she was her own woman, weird and cooky, and if I would have taken the time to think hard enough about it as a youngster, I would have realized that she wore them to diminish the smell of smoke on her clothing. Bless her heart, she was a smoker and would faithfully go outside about 7-10 times a day, rain or shine, to spare us and our home of the dreadful haze. I really do love her for that. Wish I could thank her now...

Lastly, but most certainly not least, my mom is sporting something that not every stylin' grandma out there can boast about. She is loving, cuddling, drinking in her precious grandchild. For all her faults, folies and graces, my mother was the best grandma I have ever known. She would tirelessly tea party, dance, coo, nestle and nurture my children any and every time she was here. You may think that was because she didn't see them very often, but I assure you she heaped it upon my nephews who lived in Sacramento without reserve. She had such a knack for getting down on Jenna's level. I am grieved to the core that Jenna's memory will fade and that Owen's will never recollect the many times my mom grandmothered them. My sadness often comes when I think of the absense of crafts and imaginings and such. In fact, just tonight, Jenna was outfitting her "American Doll Girl" and longing for some new clothes. I lamented the fact that, not only would my mom have been capable of making her some beautifully detailed doll clothes, but would have loved doing it. I also think how much I never got to learn from her.

So this blog is quite bittersweet. But more sweet than bitter.

Oh-let me add some sweet. Many have laughed at me for my swoonings over mister Owen. But my goodness, I have only to look at a picture of him as a little baby and my mouth starts watering. I can recollect the smell of his hair, the sound of his voice, the softness of his skin to my lips. What a beautiful, beautiful privelage it has been to be his mommy!

In loving memory of Cynthia Rae Owen (LeMaire). I am ever so glad that Owen is her namesake.