Monday, November 29

Sweet Remembrance (part 1)

One year ago today, the world was gifted with a glorious baby girl.
Cherished & loved by her parents.
Welcomed by her family.

She gave the world a message of hope & love.

Today we celebrate the birth of Miss Cora Mae McCormick.
A shining light in a (sometimes) dark world.

Today I thank your parents for sharing their precious girl with the world.
I love you Kristine & Ben!


Saturday, November 27

The Coat (part 2)

Teagan arrived at our house yesterday afternoon wearing the coat...and crying!

Can't believe she hates it so much!!!!

I've inadvertantly purchased a torture devise for my darling girl!

You know, I even tried putting the coat on Marie, to show her that it wasn't made from Marie. (Ok, I didn't make Marie wear the coat, I just draped it over her.) And you know what?!? Marie ran from the damn thing too!

Sad day....

(Lonely coat)

Friday, November 26

The Coat (part 1) I bought Teagan 2 beautiful coats: 1 to give for Thanksgiving & 1 to give at Christmas.

So far, the 1st one terrifies her. I think she thinks it's made from my cat, Marie. But when we can get it on her--when she isn't running away in fear or emphatically telling us "NO!," it's adorable:

I guess I can understand where she's coming from: it is awfully similar to Marie!

Just hope she likes her Christmas coat better!!!

Wednesday, November 24


Her 1st glimpse of snow.
She loved it.

Tuesday, November 23

Knock, Knock

It's Sunday night.

My precious girl is spending the night. It's 3:30am. And through the baby monitor, I hear her in bed with Gramma saying, "Knock, knock."
Pause from Gramma, then: "Who's there?"
Teagan: "Teagan!" (giggling) then: "I sooooooooo funny!!!"
Which leaves both Gramma & Auntie M dying of laughter.

I mean, Teag is 20-months-old, it's 3:30 in the morning...what better time than to try her hand at knock jokes?!

Then she is quiet for a long time before:
"Gypsy is orange!...(Gramma grunts, uh-huh)..."Mako is black!"...(uh-huh)..."Marie is white!" (uh-huh)... "Knock, knock..." And on  it goes.

At 4:30 she is now in my bed and we are following a similar conversation: "Gypsy is orange!...(Me: grunting, uh-huh)..."Mako is black!"...(uh-huh)..."Marie is white!" (uh-huh)... "Knock, knock..."

What makes the knock, knock joke funnier is that when she says "Knock, knock," she is knocking on her own head!

Also, when you don't answer her, she will answer herself with "Who is there?" and then wait for you to say your own which she responds with hysterical laughing, saying "You soooooo funny!!!!"

Then there would be long silences, when she appeared to be asleep, cuddled into my arms.
Then..."Marie is yellow!"
"No, she's white."
Giggle..."...and Mako black. Gypsy orange."
(Underlying meaning: ha-ha, gotcha talking again!)

I blame Sid the Science kid for the not-so-funny knock, knock jokes...but I'll cut her some slack since she's only 20-months-old and most 20-month-olds don't try telling knock, knock jokes.

As for the middle of the night discussions & cuddles...priceless.

(Till Marie jumps onto the bed & ontoTeagan, scaring her to death when she was finally sleeping, making her cry and chose to go back to Gramma's bed to sleep til 9.)

Friday, November 19

Kids Say/Do the Darndest Things

A couple weeks ago, a whole group of us went over to Whidbey Island for my sister-in-law's first art show since moving to WA. The artsy town of Langley does an art walk where different artists are displayed in various stores throughout the downtown.

Dani's art was being displayed in a wonderful place (at least for me): a chocolatier! Yum! Fine art AND chocolate! What could be better?
Chocolate covered graham cracker!
Don't let this picture decieve you: she was covered in
chocolate by the time she was done!

Anyway~during this time, Teagan got a bit bored looking at art & eating chocolate (what can I say~she's only 20 months) so we went outside to look for something to do.

We found a windchime (she loves windchimes!) and a metal chair & a mirror hanging on the wall outside the store. What could be better? Music, a chair to tap dance on, and a mirror to watch herself doing so. She was delighted!

Except of course, she didn't want to remain there for too long, she had to go back inside to check on how everyone was surviving without her presence...or walk out into the rain to look for leaves...or try to follow the man with the umbrella (she is obsessed with umbrellas~which, living in the Pacific Northwest, might be a good thing!). But she always came back to the chair/mirror set up.

My brother & I were chatting as she collected leaves and then she bounced back to the chair and announced: "I want down!" to which I responded, "No, you want up."

Teag: "I want down!"
Me: "No, you want up in the chair."
Teag: "I said: I want down!!!"
(This goes on... simply add foot stomp & emphatic arm gestures from her to her dumb auntie for not getting her demand and laughter from her uncle.)
Me (picking her up): "See, you want up in the chair."
Her (having been placed in said chair): "Humph! You're Welcome!!!"

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

 Our lil TeaRose sadly has some bowel she puts it: her poop gets stuck! Constipation sucks-I know; my many pills often do the same to me! Her parents have tried many different ways to help her & have finally hit upon Miralax (as it is tasteless & can just be stirred in to her water or juice). A day and a half after drinking down the Miralax, she woke up her parents at 7am shouting joyously, "I poop! I poop! I poop!!!!" Not usually the wake up call you want, but considering the circumstances...

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

Teag is also a great self-comforter. If something startles her or she's unsure of something, she'll just use the mantra "Is okay...Is okay...(now looking at any nearby adult)...Is okay?" It's so cute. A few weeks ago, she woke up in the night, scared of a dream and her parents heard her comforting herself with "Is okay" through her sobs. Needless to say, she was scooped out of her bed and in to theirs~who could resist that?!?
Life is truly okay when you get to snuggle up with this girl!

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

Teagan has also been exploring emotions as of late, appropriately announcing when she or someone else (even a TV character) is sad or happy or scared. She also loves it when, "It's soooo funny!!!!" She really gets humor. I'm often flumoxed by her ability to emphathize!

It's sooooooo funny!

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

But Teagan isn't the only cute one...Van & Kenyan are constantly cracking me up with their little "isms." I think the funniest Kenyan story is from a couple years ago when she was in 1st grade. She came home announcing she had won an award at school: The Tolerance Award. Which, as she put it, "Is weird 'cause I'm not even the tallest one in my class!"

However, she has grown by leaps and bounds and I wouldn't be surprised if she was now one of the tallest kids in her class...and, yes, she is still a very kind, loving, and tolerant girl.

There was a time when Kenyan needed to stand on a chair to
reach our kitchen counter.
Those days are long gone. Kinda sad, really.

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

Van is simply all boy! This summer he decided to put on a performance on a riding lawn mower for Teagan & I and had us cracking up! (Please note the lawn mower was not actually moving!) And he narrated his actions with silly quips. I was actually on the ground laughing at him! And shooting a jillion pictures!

And, yes, his shirt is correct: he does make dirt look good!

Speaking of being all we are on a nature walk. Au' natural!

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

And then there's Ava who is an avid social networker. One day I recieved a message from her saying it was her cousin's birthday that day and could I please go to the Country Village (a collection of eclectic stores near us) to buy Tate a (looong) list of items for her American Girl doll. She even included directions to the specific stores, and I quote: "the egsact location is the countrey villaeg and for the jellys at the belly danceing place and for the high tops at the cat and dog place up stairs." When I told her that I (sadly) didn't have any extra money that month to shop for her, she said, "That's ok, I'll ask Mimi (her grandma) to send your some casholla!"

Crazy hair day at school...I think....might just be how she was rollin' that day.

Saturday, November 13

Saw this tree at the park today~doesn't it look like a heart?


Dearest baby boy,

It's been 1 year...12 months...365 days...A blink in time...An eternity, since our lives were shattered by your unexpected death, my sweet little nephew.

I was so excited for your excited to be your auntie. When we learned that your heart had stopped, I wanted to scream & scream & scream...but I didn't. It was internalized. The silent scream. We gathered together here in WA so far from you and your mama & daddy. We were so grateful that your Uncle Michael and Auntie Janelle were there with them. And we were so scared that we were not just going to lose you, but your mommy as well. We felt so helpless being so far away.

Over this past year, there were times I thought our family would fall apart from grief. The holidays were numbing. We were grieving for you but wanted them to be special for your cousin Teagan. Without knowing it Teagan was a great part of our healing. She helped us laugh again. She reminded us to love deeply instead of guarding our hearts tightly against the pain in this world.

However, with every milestone she reached (first holidays, walking, talking, exploring life) there was a little bit of me that would reflect with sadness that you would never have these milestones. Instead, you will have yearly anniversaries...different kinds milestones.

For instance, this summer your Gramma & I planted a rose bush in your honor. Your cousin helped us. It's a beautiful climbing rose called "Joseph's Coat." Its blossoms are amazing: they were yellow, then pinkish, then orange. Vibrant. Incredible.


There is a special time of night~dusk really~when the sky turns the most amazing blue. It is during this time that the first star appears. It is brilliant. It's probably really  a planet~ but what do I know? I think of this as your star; your sky. I often sit on the front porch during that time and think of to you. (Yeah, yeah, your Auntie M is a little crazy.) And I talk to God~sometimes asking him (once again) "Why?!" Sometimes thanking him that you are with him & that we can find hope in knowing that, one day, we will all be reunited with you.

Your mama & daddy moved up here in May. We are so glad to have them close by. And someday you will be a big brother. Your siblings will be so loved~but they will not replace you. I hope they will know how much we all love their big brother.

Today, Gramma & I went to the river to scatter some of the dried petals from your rose bush to honor you.
It was a grey day, a little chilly. The park was relatively empty and we got to spend quite some time alone on the bridge. We spent a lot of that time in silence~with just the sound of the water and birds, and nature surrounding us. The water was very calm. After feeling for such a long time that we were being tossed about in an ocean, the stillness was very peaceful. It was a good place to reflect. To feel at peace.

A year ago, our lives were shattered. A year later, we are mending. We will always miss you. Always love you. Never forget you. ♥

Your Auntie M