Double Digits

Boy, n.:  a noise with dirt on it.  ~Not Your Average Dictionary

IMG_1399 William

Ten years ago today, Rob and I met William Clark for the very first time, and at that instant, everything we thought we knew about parenting and babies went right out the window. William is pretty much the opposite of normal, whatever that may be, and that is what makes him so special. He has kept us on toes every second of his life, and I have a feeling that he will continue do so for the rest of our lives. He is unpredictable and stubborn as heck. His hobbies including pushing buttons and breaking all the rules. He also enjoys turning my hair gray. And I love him to the moon and back. Thank you, William, for being… you. Happy 10th Birthday!!!

I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.  I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.  ~Mother Teresa

Happy 10th Birthday, William Clark!!!

Happy 10th Birthday, William Clark!!!

Likely as not, the child you can do the least with will do the most to make you proud.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

Can we keep him? – Part 2

I thought I had seen it all, so today when the kids brought home another lizard, I was not surprised, although I must admit that this one was a little bigger than all of the others.

IMG_0678 lizard

And when they ran home saying they had found frogs, I was not surprised then, either. When they returned to the creek and brought some home, they looked as I expected. At least two of them did. But Nathan’s frog made me look twice. This was a first…

IMG_0681 frogs

And since we are on a reptile kick, I would like to share our snake with you. The kids and I came across her down at the river, and while I did not know she poisonous at the time, we did not dare get close to her. We waited patiently on an elevated log until she was ready to move on. She eventually took off into the water and we were free to move again. The biggest difference between the snake and all the other critters the kids have found is that nobody asked to keep this one…

IMG_0583 snake

A Very Special Friend

Nathan was the first of our kids to attach to a stuffy. When the twins were just a couple of months old, my sister sent them a box filled with outfits too cute for words and two little stuffed animals. Catheryn got an elephant and Nathan, a cow. Nathan’s intense attachment to this little cow began almost instantly.

As an infant, Nathan was a thumb-sucker, and he had this habit of holding the cow’s rear-end while doing so. This little stuffy eventually became known as “CowCow” and he accompanied Nathan everywhere. There was no leaving the house without CowCow. No going to bed without CowCow. No functioning without CowCow.

Nathan and this little cow were so inseparable that I began to worry what would happen if CowCow were to be lost. So I started looking for a replacement, just in case, but no matter how hard I looked, I could not find one. It was as if Gund had never even created this particular cow. Finally, after referring to the tag, I began searching for “Sprinkles 5824”, which was the name given to the cow by Gund. I quickly learned why all of my prior searches had ended in failure. CowCow was not a cow at all, he was a hippo. Once I finally found him online, I was amazed at how beautiful he was. It had been some time since Nathan’s little friend had been that bright and clean.

The funny thing about lovies is that the older and more worn they get, the more beautiful and special they become. CowCow was loved. He was so much more than a simple stuffed animal, he was a part of the family.

At eight years old, Nathan still loves his cherished stuffy. Wherever Nathan is, you can be assured that CowCow is not far away. I can honestly say that CowCow has become as special to me as he is to Nathan. He is Nathan’s whole world, and when I see that little cow, I see my baby. And every stage of his precious life.

I suppose that eventually Nathan will move on and CowCow will be left behind, as always seems to happen as one grows up. I dread that day, but hopefully it is still a long way off. I look forward to many more hikes with CowCow. And tea parties. And board games. I am not ready for him to leave our family, any more than I am ready for my baby to grow up.

But no matter how old Nathan gets, CowCow will always be special. I am grateful that he has been such a special friend for Nathan, and I am grateful that he is a part of our family.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

This week’s topic really had me thinking. At first, I thought there were many things I could use for Mine. But, upon further consideration, I realized that this was not the case.

My first thoughts were my kids,

my husband,

and my cat.

But what I realized was that while I may spend my life with all these wonderful living beings, none of them are technically Mine. They belong to no one. So my quest for Mine continued.

I needed to find something that mattered to me but went unnoticed by everyone else. It took me a while, but I eventually realized that it was right under my nose the whole time.


I have had Jeremy for as long as I can remember. He’s old. He’s beat up. He’s missing an eye. And yet, I cannot sleep without him. He has grown up with me, traveled with me and moved with me. I have dropped him, squashed him, sat on him and slept on him. He has been washed and dried and dressed and who knows what else. And I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

A Weekly Photo Challenge has turned into a confession: I, Mariah, a 34-year-old wife and mother of three, still sleep with my teddy bear. And he’s Mine, all Mine.

Get your own bear.  🙂