Why the Tree of Life?


Rolling Over

Ayla rolled over yesterday for the first time. She went from her back to her tummy. She actually likes being on her tummy, thank goodness. She simultaneously discovered her toes yesterday. So, when she is on her back, she hunts for her toes, finds them, grins, and slowly topples over on to her tummy. She enjoys doing this so much that she practiced between the hours of 1am and 3:30am as I laid beside her with my head on her boppy pillow saying "Ayla, please go to sleep."



1 Full Bottle of Orange Tempera Paint
1 Mommy Nursing Ayla Inside


Tummy Time


Love Offering

Dunagan is in love with the firemen down the street. When the storm knocked out the power in our neighborhood, the firemen were on the scene for a little damage control, and Evan and Dunagan headed down to watch them. He got to look at the truck, and one of the men asked Dunagan to give him "five". He's recounted that episode to me several times.

We decided to make cookies for our local firehouse, and the plan was for him to take them down with Dad when Dad got off work. The excitement level in the house was palpable, and Dunagan was a ball of nervous energy. He decided to put his firesuit on the minute we were done baking cookies and then camped himself at the window at 3pm to watch for Dad (who gets home around 6pm).

"When the firemen see me in my firesuit, they're going to say, 'Hey, are you a fireman? Come drive the truck.' When's Dad going to be home?" Not for several hours. "When the firemen see these cookies, they're going to say, 'Yum, cookies! When they see my firesuit, the firemen are going to say, 'Hey, are you a fireman? Come drive the truck.' When's Dad going to be home?" 6 o'clock "When the firemen see these cookies, they're going to say, 'Hey, are those cookies for us?', and I'll give them to them, and then they will say, 'Hey, you're a fireman in your firesuit.' When's Dad going to be home? I'm hot." Do you want to take your firesuit off? "No. When's Dad going to be home?"

You can see how the afternoon went.

Dad came home a little early, thank goodness, and the two of them headed off to the firehouse. The firemen did enjoy the cookies, and one fireman in particular did say, "Hey buddy, are you a fireman?" which pleased Dunagan to no end. He got to climb up into the truck, but he did not get invited to drive. He didn't seem too crushed, though; perhaps he was overawed by being in the presence of divinity and forgot about his hopes of driving the truck. The friendly fireman urged them to come back at the end of the week when they had a NEW firetruck arriving. We haven't made it back, yet, but you can bet it's on the to-do list.


Bad Luck Streak

I thought Quakers didn't believe in luck, you might be thinking, but since we're such newly convinced Friends, you'll have to forgive us for any residual pagan ways. But who would not think we have angered some god somewhere after the last few weeks we've had? I told Evan that we may have to consider killing a chicken under a full moon or pay some gypsy to remove a hex.

It all began with the plumbing, as you may recall. That little jobbie started out simple enough and developed into an unexpected, multi-part, multi-day, multi-dollar project, including hiring a guy to come do the re-texturing of the repaired wall.

Then Evan's clutch went out, twice, or you could say it wasn't repaired properly in the first place, another unexpected expense.

Then we had this crazy, out-of-nowhere, storm. It happened on the Saturday that we had decided to set aside as Tackle The Shop day. The 'shop' is where Evan's workbench is, where the art table and boys' woodworking table are, where the washer and dryer are, and where everything that we don't want, but can't seem to get rid of goes, plus our camping stuff. All of this is in half of a converted garage, and it is barely usable because we expect it to perform too many functions. So, anyway, we were going to declutter the Room That Had Gotten Out of Control (again), which was a big deal, and we were really making headway, when this crazy, out-of-nowhere, storm came up. The winds were incredible and were blowing everything from one end of the porch to the other end. There was sideways rain, sideways rain! (as Kirven says, with enormous eyes) and then the power went out for several hours. The boys had a great time walking purposefully and importantly through the house with their flashlights. After the rain stopped, we went out and surveyed the damage, and our big, old oak trees had several major limbs broken, and of course, they were very, very high limbs. Evan cleaned up what he could reach with the pole saw, but then we had to call out the professionals, another unexpected expense. And, of course, we haven't gotten back to cleaning out the shop since.

Next came the ticket. This is the ticket that Evan has been telling me that I was going to get for years. If you ever drive the stretch of W. William Cannon between Westgate and Brodie, you know what I'm talking about. The hills get ya. There is a policeman who sits in the same spot, practically every week, if not every day, just waiting for the people who have forgotten that he is there or the ones who are stupid enough to be out in front. Everyone goes 50 in a posted 40 zone because of the downhill stretch. Well, this time I was leading the pack, and he got me. I was so concerned about getting where I was going before Ayla started crying, that I wasn't paying any attention to my place in the pack. I am usually very careful not to be first. And it is so hard not to go 50 there, even when you are paying attention!

Next came the broken foot. This time, Evan was on the receiving end of the bad luck. He was helping our neighbor get broken limbs out of his tree when he tripped over an old swingset frame. At first he thought he had sprained it, but, nope... it's broken. No good deed goes unpunished.

A couple days after that, when we were going to bed, I couldn't get comfortable. I felt kind of cold, so I got a blanket. Then I got another blanket. Then I turned the fan down. Then I started shivering and having goosebumps, and my hands and feet started to turn blue and go numb, and my nose was cold. I woke Evan up since I was shaking uncontrollably and asked him for another blanket. I accused, I mean, asked if he had turned the A/C way down, and he said no, and that it was actually stuffy in the room since I had turned the fan off. He got me another blanket, and then made Ayla comfortable away from me. I had been covering her up, too, thinking she must have been cold. My shaking finally stopped sometime in the middle of the night and became a fever. My fever got all the way to 104.9 before I realized that I probably had mastitis. (Isn't that a shocking number? I love it. I feel like I survived something, like the bubonic plague, and lived to tell about it.) The headache was pretty intense, and I couldn't find the will to move. Of course, it was after 5pm when we all realized it was time to see a doctor. Thankfully, Evan was able to call my cousin who is an ER doctor, and he called in antibiotics for me. Poor Evan was doing his best with Ayla and the boys and his broken foot. My sisters were able to help out, and my parents came to help, too, so that Evan could go back to work. They were in town for other reasons, so it was perfect timing. What a miracle tylenol and antibiotics are. I felt nearly completely normal just the next day.

Surely that must be it, you may be asking yourself. But no. Friday, I filled up our glass hummingbird feeder, our new glass hummingbird feeder, and as I was carrying it out to hang it back up, it slipped out of its handle and broke on the porch. I looked at it and turned right back around and went inside the house. By the time we (read Evan) were able to get back to it, the sugarwater had glued all the teeny tiny pieces of glass to the porch.

And finally, I am having a cavity filled tomorrow.

My grandmother gave Dunagan a horseshoe she had received as a favor at a West Texas wedding a couple of weeks ago. We planned on hanging it above the boys' bedroom door since they've kinda got a cowboy theme goin' on. After Evan broke his foot, he realized that the horseshoe was just lying on the counter. All our luck was spilling out, obviously! So, he set it upright, intending to hang it up. But then I got mastitis, and as I was lying there dying I would ask him periodically if he had hung up that blankety blank horseshoe yet. After I recovered, we wondered if we should throw it in the trash (maybe horseshoes give us Quakers bad luck instead of good), but then we didn't because we didn't want worse luck reigning down on our heads because we had angered some horseshoe fairy somewhere.

Evan hung the horseshoe yesterday, so we'll see where that takes us. Of course, it is all just a joke, thinking that the horseshoe might have anything to do with it... right? I personally find that things like bad luck and death come in threes. As you can see, my cavity makes nine, so we've got to be done. Right?!

Oh, wait, I miscounted. I forgot that my kitchen faucet went out, too, and had to be replaced... no, wait, that was a good thing... I like having a newer, more functional, modern faucet. So, take that back, we're still at nine.... so, we have to be done.