And now the baby

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 7:19 PM


My Iris is two years old today.

I'm not pregnant. It's the first time I have reached this milestone without knowing another little mischief maker was on the way.

(And it feels fantastic!)

We almost decided two was enough. A boy and a girl, both so wonderful and so much work. We almost didn't have her. But she planted herself in my mind, bombastic and impossible to ignore from the very beginning, even before she was real. I knew there was another child. I knew she was a girl.

I knew her name.

I didn't know that she would have an incredible halo of sweet brown ringlets, or a smile to break her face open. I didn't know she would grow in one fang tooth months before any others, and that I would find it utterly endearing even though I have silently mocked it on other babies. I didn't know she would have feet like over-risen balls of pizza dough, or be the bully of the church nursery, or suck her thumb.

She has just recently become able to sit next to me long enough to read a story, and we are taking full advantage of her newly improved attention span, even though I can hardly hear myself talk over her exciting, babbling, very loud commentary.

She loves to wrap her babies in blankets, then drop them on the floor, then wrap them up again.

She tells the same knock-knock joke a hundred times a day - only the first half, because that's all she knows. And she won't be ignored, either - if you don't say "who's there?" in the right place, she will sit on you and yell "KNOCK KNOCK" right in your distracted face until you do.

If she gets a mouthful of something she doesn't like (it does occasionally happen), she spits it onto her plate and yells "GROSS!"

The rest of the time, she eats twice as much and twice as fast as the other kids, and sometimes me too. I think she might be using her feet as storage silos.

She is sneaky, stubborn, assertive, affectionate, and everyone adores her. We can't help it. We are powerless before her charms.

I think we're going to quit while we're ahead.

Happy, happy birthday, my last wonderful baby.

The firstborn

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 8:51 PM


I did a post about his birthday.

Now, I want to do a post about him.

But I don't really know what to say.

No song, no poem, no writing device that I could contrive would be enough to explain how much I love the little boy in that picture, how incredibly special he is, how much my life has changed since he came into it.

Every day with him is full of love, delight, and discovery. He is challenging, hilarious, tenderhearted, and brilliant. He's my Lego Frank Lloyd Wright, my Neil Armstrong, my Billy Joel, my Beethoven.

He hung the moon.

I have a 7-year-old

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, September 20, 2010 at 8:16 PM


I know. I know.

How? How is this possible? If I am the parent to a child who is nearly a decade old, then what does that make me? Am I entirely an adult, now?

I have an entire post floating around the that is my brain devoted to these very questions, but you don't get to read it now. Right now, you get a photo dump and another chance to behold my crafty impulses gone wild.

Try to contain your excitement.

Devlin's much-anticipated Real Birthday Party, With Friends From School was Saturday morning. As kids started to arrive, we played Simon Says to keep them entertained before we got in the pool:

(Note Iris standing with everyone else, pretending to know how to play Simon Says.)

My mom, the schoolteacher, took a turn leading the game, and that went much more smoothly:

Persons not keen on Simon Says enjoying each others' company in the music room:

No one drowned. I'm going to go ahead and put this one in the win column, thank you:

In a stroke of genius, I invited everyone to eat outside, allowing the birdies and ants to dispose of the crumbs for me. Please observe birthday banner in upper right of photo. I made that. (I *may* have mentioned it once or twice already):

Did I say crafty? Because I made the cake too. It's a robot. It was fancy:

So many wonderful faces, new and old. I don't think I'm up for this every year (maybe never again, actually) but for his first birthday in a new neighborhood, new school, new house, I thought it was a good opportunity to get himself on the radar.

It went well, and best of all - it's over! I've learned a lot from this experience, and I think next year I will definitely do some things differently. But Devlin had a great time, and I'm grateful to have been able to provide this for him.

He's so worth it.

Tender Mercies

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 7:54 AM


In my church, we have a saying that is, I believe, peculiar to us. Every church and religion has them (know because I've spent hours upon hours making fun of mine and others'!) We will sometimes refer to a given circumstance or event as a "tender mercy"; it's basically a little Easter egg from our Heavenly Father, letting us know that he's aware of us and that while his job is not to fix all our problems, that he is listening and can help provide us with clarity and inspiration about what to do.

Mormons view everything from a feeling to check your shoe before you put it on, avoiding the scorpion inside, to finding $5 in your jeans pocket, to being cured of cancer, as a tender mercy. I love this about us.

This morning, I was walking to the garage before I took the kids to school. (I was walking out there to attempt to determine and eliminate, once and for all, the source of a particularly foul smell in my van that had been eluding me for some days, but that's not the tender mercy part. Although I did find it.) David was already out there, and the door from the house to the garage was open. For the past 4 months, this has been a Dixon Family Cardinal Sin; as hot as it is here, we Arizonans behave as if the air outside is infected with a very contagious, deadly pathogen, and we must keep our houses hermetically sealed to avoid exposure.

So I'm walking to the garage, when I feel our air conditioner doing something very strange. It is blowing cool air onto my feet. Great, I thought - what is broken now? We've had a recent string of things malfunctioning that can only come with owning two homes: one old, one cheap. But instead, I kept walking, and found that the cool breeze on my toes was actually coming from the garage. From OUTSIDE. The delightful turn in the air, that momentary crisp, lively sensation, wasn't manufactured. It was the real thing.

It's just a taste of what's to come, and there is a lot of miserable weather between here and there (that's why it's a tender mercy, and not a full-blown miracle) but that little breeze spoke to my soul.

I think it's going to be a good day.

Make new friends, but keep the old

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, September 6, 2010 at 12:06 PM


Devlin hosted his first sleepover last night. I'm not generally a huge fan, but the timing was right and Abby is a very special friend.

He waited for her at the curb for the better part of an hour.

Eating ice cream, staying up and whispering knock-knock jokes all night long, watching movies, swimming, snacks, and yes - a little bit of sleep.

Devlin has made new friends here in our new neighborhood, but I don't think anyone can fill Abby's place in his heart. He is always loyal to her, careful to clarify that Abby is still his "girlfriend" whenever he mentions a new mate at school. I treasure the time we lived next door to her family, and even though we haven't seen much of each other over the last 4 months, it feels like we're still neighbors. And good friends.

I hope that never changes.

Making myself scarce

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 9:48 PM


If I'm not around much for a few days...

I have a good reason!

Merci beaucoup for all the excellent advice - as you can see, I have taken it. Even David admits "it does lighten the place up considerably". He likes it, and I freakin' LOVE it. Every stroke of the roller makes me happier than the last. It was definitely the right move.

If you look closely, you'll see that the kitchen is next on the hit list! If there is an obsessive home decorator's 12 Step program, I think I need to sign myself up.

I'm Rachel, and I'm a repaint-a-holic.