Monday, March 7, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 56-62

Howdy! I sit here on a snowy Monday morning, the kids going bonkers in another room because they have a snow day and I am taking a moment to finally get back to this blog. Sorry about the long delay.

#56) Too much to do!

Yes, I said it. I am grateful that I am too busy even to sit down and write this blog on a regular basis. I would rather have too much to do than too little. When I die, I would rather leave some things I wanted to do undone, than think that the world only held enough intersting things in it to fill my one little lifetime.

#57) Three year olds!

I have one now. Noah turned 3 on Friday. He had his first real birthday party that wasn't just family. He was excited all day long and had his little nosed pressed up to the window, looking for his friends as the hour of the party approached. It was a big success. The picture above must be from last fall, when he was still very much two, but I had never seen it, so in it goes!

#58) Friends who make me do things I wouldn't otherwise do.

Like run a half-marathon. A big group of us have run the Burlington marathon in teams and pairs and singles over the last few years, raising money for the March of Dimes. This year I am splitting it with my friend Cybelle. If she weren't counting on me to run the second half, I know I wouldn't be training at all. Seriously, it's fun, companionable and you have other people who feel your pain to whine with. What could be better?

#59) Blogs from people who live in warmer climates and who have a beautiful eye for color.

This time of year, I need a little color. I like to go over to Jane Brockett's blog to see what she is up to over in England. Spring comes much earlier on the other side of the pond.

#60) Upcoming writing workshop!

Starts this Thursday, and will last 6 weeks. In fact it ends a few days before we leave for Italy. I am excited, terrified and, of course, find myself without a single thing to write about. Must try to organize all my ideas....

#61) Upcoming dog training class!

Starts Wednesday evening. If you have never taken one of these, and you have a pupy or a young dog, or any dog, that is a bit rough around the edges, you should totally go sign yourself and your fur-ball up. These are so fun. Poppy is awesome, but she needs some more training.

#62) Poppy.

She is such a sweet girl! She LOVES the kids, LOVES Max and is really well beahved. She comes when she is called, sits when she is asked and is very playful and loving. She is only 9 months olds, so she needs some more training, but she is smart, eager to please and totally adorable. We hit the doggy jack-pot again!

What are you grateful for today? (By the way, I am loving the comments, keep them coming!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 51-55

Howdy! The time gets away from me, but I am having such a lovely couple of weeks. So very many wonderful things going on. So without further ado...

#51) Rescuing dogs.

We are getting a new dog! We haven't determined her name yet, but she will be arriving on a P.E.T.S. Transport from Kentucky on Feb. 26th. She is in the same foster home as Max was, and her foster mom says she is just like Max in a golden-girl outfit. We are going through Goldenhuggs Rescue. I HIGHLY recommend them and urge you to immediately go check out their petfinder page, AFTER looking at our cutie first, of course. Her name-to-be is Poppy!

#52) Valentine's Day!

I love this holiday. It brings color and cheer, chocolate and flowers, hugs and, perhaps most importantly, cupcakes!

#53) Vacation.

The kids are on February break for 10 days. I love it. I wish it weren't quite so cold so we could ski more, but we are seeing family and friends, so we are happy.

#54) Hilda!
She was our au pair, now she is just our beloved friend. We talk to her all the time and we will be seeing her for a couple of weeks in Italy this spring. Yay! May every one's kids have a young person like Hilda in their lives. They simply adore her.

#55) Upcoming trips.

Dreaming, planning, researching. It is so fun to get ready for a family trip. This spring we will be going to Tuscany for 3 weeks with our whole family, and Hilda, and the kids are so excited. So are we. Great food, great wine and a beautiful house, not to mention, art, architecture, history and SUNSHINE! Can't wait.

More to come, but I need to play with my kidlets.

What are you grateful for today?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 45-50

Good Morning! We have had the most beautiful, snowy weather here since the "big" storm, which wasn't really that big here. We got about 10-14 inches of snow, but oh my goodness, what snow it is! Light as a feather and heaven to ski through. AND, the sun, when shining, has actually been warm! Turn your face to it and feel it soak in warm.

#45) Walks in the sun down snowy roads.

It was so quiet and beautiful out and Noah and I took Max the dog down to visit our neighbor, the mule, on such a gorgeous February afternoon. Love late winter!

#46) Sledding!

So exhilarating. So giggle inducing. So god for my butt! Below are the boys working on packing down a path for the flying saucers. Observe their different techniques. First Kai. (Having trouble loading video, please be patient! Back soon.)

Then Noah.

#46) Our health.
Nobody is sick, or hurt, or needs treatment for anything scary! I am thankful for that at least once a day.

#47) Money for travel.
We are so, so lucky to have the money to travel. With 5 people, some trips call for serious savings, but it is so worth it. Since September we have been on a serious belt-tightening diet so we can spend 3 weeks in Italy this spring with my family. I would so rather have fewer things, no babysitting and wear old clothes but be able to travel. For me, it's a no-brainer! We are also heading out west this summer. We feel deeply lucky to be able to show our kids some of the world.

#48) Co-sleeping
Noah is still in bed with us. Kai comes in on my side almost every night and Grace snuggles in on Zach's side. I love the family bed! It made such a difference in the kids' attachment when they first came home. It helped them transition from institutionalized orphans, to beloved children in a family. It's not for everyone, but I am so glad it works for us.

#49) Chocolate.
Does this need any explanation? I think not.

#50) Laughter.
The kind that makes your belly hurt, or the sound of the kids from another room. Certain people have great laughs. My friend's daughter Emma for instance has one of the all time great laughs. I try to make her giggle whenever possible. Kai's laugh ascends the scale until it breaks way high up in his throat. Grace sounds like she has been smoking for years. Noah's laugh is breathless. One of my favorite laughs is Zach's laugh when something funny surprises him. His face is beautiful in laughter. Isn't every one's though?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 44-

Hi there! Sorry it has been a quiet week. We had to put down our older dog, so we have been sad around here. She was 14 and lived a good and happy life. She also lasted a year past her diagnosis of "riddled with cancer" so that was awesome. She was a great dog and we miss her.

Feb 1, 1997 - Jan 31, 2011

#44) I am grateful to be able to help my pets pass with dignity. Our fantastic vet and friend, Emily, made a house call and Zia died peacefully in my arms. The kids were able to be there and give her loving through the end, and she wasn't stressed or worried or in pain.

That is all for today. Zia deserves her own post. She was a brown hunk of yummi dog-love and she is missed.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 40-43

Good morning! Sorry for the silence. Our weeks are busy, and the weather has been glorious so we are outside a lot and I am in the middle of several projects and, and, and.............

So, without any more ado..

#40) Skiing

I snuck out early on Wednesday with Grace and Noah and met up with some friends and we had a glorious morning before Grace had to go to school. I am so LUCKY to live in a place where I have my choice of 4 ski resorts and have passes to 2. That I can go with my younger two during the week, and hit the terrain park with Kai on the weekends (although I will say, friends, it takes a lot of willpower NOT to freak out as your 7 year old goes flying through the air above your head. Just sayin.). I have a fluid group of fantastic friends I ski with, and we try to get out without our kids at least once a week, with varying degrees of success. There is nothing like standing on top of snow-capped mountains on a beautiful day, surrounded by friends, or even alone, and pointing your skis downhill. It is soul filling fun.

#41) Mountains.

And while we are on the subject. I am grateful to live in the mountains. I have thought about this a lot. I love the sea, goodness knows I love the deep, dark, changing, mysterious northern sea. I also love the gentle, turquoise, warm, gorgeous tropical sea. I am an equal opportunity water lover! However, I am a mountain girl. I NEVER get tired of looking at the mountains. I love them in all seasons. I love the way the clouds race across them on a breezy summer day. I love the way sunset and sunrise paint them pink in the winter. I love the way the green of spring slowly climbs upwards towards the peaks in May and the flaming oranges and reds of autumn descend down into the valleys in October. I love exploring them, climbing up in all seasons, swimming in their streams (summer only, I'm not insane) and knowing a little about the creatures who live in their forests. Yes, I am a mountain girl.

#42) An endless supply of dry kindling!

This won't mean a lot to those of you who live in warm places, BUT, having a woodworking husband means I have access to tons of scraps of perfectly dried wood to start fires with. I don't even have to go outside! I just slip down to his workshop and raid the scrap bin. Let me tell you, last weekend, when it was -30, I was giggling with glee at my good fortune. And yesterday, when we ran out of heating fuel (whoops, my bad) the house never even had a chance to get cold because the fire started up so fast. It's just lovely.

#43) My own workspace.

So, as it turns out, everybody in our house has a space of their own except me. The kids have playrooms, Zach has his shop, and I have.....the dining room table. Or rather, I did, until now. Zach and I have decided to turn the alcove in our bedroom into my space, and it is beautiful. It has the best view of Mt. Mansfield, and fits a desk, a comfy chair and a big table for sewing. Here's what it looked like before we started.

Yes, those are boxes filled with my crap for the 1001 projects I have going at any given time.

This is my darling husband painting it for me because he is the best!

First coat done. And then when he was all finished and it was gorgeous and warm and we both lay on our bed admiring it, he asked me if I wanted him to make me a sewing table. I said sure, and had something simple in mind, like a piece of plywood nailed to 4 4x4's. He disappeared into the workshop and a day later re-emerged with this for me:

Maple skirting, cherry legs, and walnut edging. So gorgeous! Now he is making me bookshelves and fabric storage. I do so love that man. I'll keep posting pictures as my space comes together. I am so lucky!

What are you grateful for today?

Monday, January 24, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 36-39

Good morning! It is somewhere between -27 and -36 outside my house right now, depending on which thermometer one chooses to believe. School is starting 90 minutes late and my boys are in the bath together playing with funnels, while my girl gets an extra hour of sleep. No matter how crazy his days are, Kai still gets up before 6am, EVERY DAY! He is the original morning person.

So, with the freezing cold out there, I am grateful for very many things like...

#36) the ability to buy heating fuel! It is MINUS 27 to 36 degrees without any windchill factor, and my house is nice and toasty. I am deeply grateful and hope my neighbors are equally safe and warm.

#37) My wood stove. I love it, it is cheerful and warming and no Vermont house feels right without one, or at least a fireplace, but a wood stove is better for heating a house, I think.

#38) Color. I crave color this time of year, and every little bit of it is soothing to an eye that loves, but is getting weary of, the winter palate of white, silver, gray etc.

Every bit of color, whether man made or natural, is a little bit of joy right now!

#39) Sunlight.

Especially shining on a couch or chair where I can curl up and feel it's, admittedly weak right now, warmth. Later this winter will be the thrilling moment when I am out for a walk with Max, and the sun will be at my back and I will suddenly realize that it is WARMING me through my jacket. I may even have to take off a layer. Oh that is pure magic, that moment. As John Denver said "Sunshine on my shoulder, makes me happy." Corny, but simple and true.

What are you grateful for this lovely morning?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 29-35

Good morning! Sorry I haven't been here every day. Life can get hectic with 3 little ones and all their activities. But I am almost done with my gratitudes in my handwritten journal, so I am not slacking on the project, just finding it hard to carve out 30 minutes to blog. Better than being bored with nothing to do though, right? So.....

#29) Sleep.

I had the best night's sleep last night. I went to bed embarrassingly early and managed to sleep away an impending migraine. I feel so lively and awake at 6:20am, not a usual occurrence for me. There really is nothing as good for the mind or soul as a good night's sleep.

#30) Music.

I grew up in a musical house, I had full run of the Stuttgart Opera house as a child, we always had a music room in every home. I married a musician, have a sister who is a musician, have in-laws who are musicians. I like everything from Beethoven to Beck, Chopin to Caravan Palace, Bach to Bela Fleck, Puccini to Pink Martini (hey, that rhymes!). I love Bluegrass, funk, soul, classical, jazz, standards, alternative, grunge, folk, dance..... the list is endless. I am grateful to be able to hear and enjoy music.

#31) Concerts.

And since we are heading out tomorrow to take the kids to a Dan Zanes concert, I'll just say how much I love seeing music live. Especially with the kids, especially in the summer and outside. BUT as tomorrow afternoon is never going to get above zero (!) I am thrilled to spend a couple of hours inside dancing with my family.

#32) Skype.

I am, at heart, rather old fashioned, and I am not a lover of gadgets and technology just for the sake of the "next thing," but when something works as well as Skype to connect me to loved ones so far away, well, how lucky am I to live in a time when I can see people while I talk to them across time zones and oceans?! How about that for a run-on sentence?

#33) Wool socks.

Hand knit or Smartwool, there is nothing in the world like a pair of well made socks.

#34) My in-laws.

I married into THE coolest family. So smart, talented, artistic, funny, chatty, lively, loving, and deeply cool. They all get along inspiringly well and hanging out and chatting with any of them is absolutely one of my all time favorite pastimes. Missing from the photos below are Zach's sister Stefanie, who is actually sleeping in my guestroom as we speak, and Cousin Mark, who is too wily and fast for a camera. Must rectify my lack of photos of them immediately!

#35) Sunrise over the mountains.

So glad I am here to see it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 25-28

Good snowy morning to you! A lovely day to get out and play. Which is exactly what will be happening today. But, here we go for today...


Old friends. I have a lot of them. I am blessed. Just yesterday a friend posted some pictures on Facebook of us when we were little and it is so cool to have those memories brought back. When we got married, I had 9 bridesmaids (I know, I know) and every single one of them had been a friend forever.


New friends. I love making new friends! I love meeting someone and recognizing a kindred spirit in them. I have been beyond lucky, since moving back to Waterbury, to have met a bunch of people like this. (You know who you are, my little skiing buddies!) So amazing to meet new people with whom you can be yourself completely. This community seems particularly full of awesome souls.


Flowers. Especially at this monochromatic time of year, they are balm to the eyes. Sometimes a picture of them is enough, or a cheery fabric pattern covered in flowers. What an amazing part of our world!


Great movies. Ones I could, and have, seen over and over again. The Philadelphia Story, The Princess Bride, A Fish Called Wanda, A Room with a View, Enchanted April, The Bourne Series, Mostly Martha, Amelie....... The list goes on and on. If you want to amuse me, just put anything with Katherine Hepburn in on the TV and I am there!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 21-24

Good Morning! The snow is staring to fall, and my day is fairly open, which is a treat. What to do, what to do? Well first, I think I will make a big breakfast that features quite a lot of the next thing I am grateful for!

Maple Syrup. We buy it in gallon jugs or more. We put it on everything. I cook with it. The kids may have syrup running through their veins. Yum.

Cuddles. Grateful for arms and legs to hold my loved ones close.

Cats. Sweet, cool, distant, cuddly, self-sustaining fuzz-balls. Behold Jack and Maggie. Taking a rest from keeping my house rodent-free.

Clean sheets. I love clean sheet day and the smooth cool feel of curling up in them.

Monday, January 17, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 16-20

Good morning! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. We did, but I find myself really grumpy this morning. Like, really, mean-mommy, would give almost anything for a few hours of solitude that does not include cleaning of any kind, grumpy. Oh well. C'est la vie! On mornings like this, it is, I think, extremely important to spell out what you are grateful for and what your blessings are. So...


Books. I can not imagine a life without books. I am currently on a reading tear. I am re-reading old favorites and devouring all my Christmas books. I love knitting books and cookbooks and books about creativity and beauty. I like classics and and children's books and even a well written romance (just discovered Georgette Heyer, and she is sheer light hearted amusement, perfect for a stormy day in front of the fire with frequent interuptions). I love non-fiction. I love history. I love science and books on the environment. I am an equal opportunity book lover. I can't stand literary snobs. I figure whatever floats someone's boat. For my part, I just re-read Cold Comfort Farm. Any book that has 4 cows in it named Aimless, Graceless, Pointless and Feckless is definately worth reading. "Ah, for this I cowdled ye as a mommet!" Love that book.



The joy of playing in the snow and on the ice, coupled with the peace and security of curling up by the fire.

Indoor plumbing and HOT running water. I live in Vermont. 'Nuff said.

Vanilla. The smell of baking and comfort food.

Silence. Soul filling quiet. So rarely achieved, but occasionally in the woods with a blanket of snow, there it is. Total silence. Love that.

Friday, January 14, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 13-15

Good Morning! I hope you are all doing well. This has actually been a bit of a trying week, what with the horrors of Tuscon, the destruction of the storage barn at our favorite organic farm (and provider of our CSA share), and the death of a wonderful member of our community who was also our vet and the father of one of our divine babysitters. She called me yesterday morning, right after he had passed and the grief in her voice was overwhelming. I have been so sad for her, her brother and their whole family. What has been amazing is the way our community has come together to support each other through the loss of this friend. So with that in mind....

13) My community. I am so grateful to live in a town where people are beholden to each other, and far from resenting it, they revel in it. There are arguments, and the usual petty disagreements of course, but I am proud to a member of what really feels like a team. It is really, the most amazing community, Zach and I talk about how lucky we are all the time.

The picture below is from the elementary school lantern parade, right before the solstice. Several hundred schoolkids, the entire faculty, hundred of parents, all carrying hand made lanterns led by a raucous Brazilian Drum band marching through town to the green and back on street lined with community supporters. Pictures were hard to get because I didn't want to miss a moment of this magical event. The line of lanterns was endless, there was a light snow falling, and it was the perfect way to welcome back the sun as it turns it's light back toward the north. The best part was that everyone I saw that night really GOT what a special place this town is. It was radiating from all of us.

Fresh, locally grown food. I love the anticipation of seeing what will be in my CSA share every week. I love getting our meat from a farm I love to visit. I am grateful beyond words to have fresh food at my disposal, and to be able to feed my family without worry about where the next meal will come from.

Masterpiece Theatre. I love a good costume drama! I am girly that way.

What are you grateful for today?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 10-12

Good morning! It's a snowy winter wonderland here. Can't wait to go play in it, just need to wake up a little more. Here is who is already out there romping around..

#10) Dogs

Max the Dog, the wonderful dog! We are so lucky to have this amazing creature! He was hours from being euthanized this time last year. Now he is a certified therapy dog, kid snuggler-in-chief, walk and hike companion, and general good natured gentleman around the house. He is also the first male dog I have ever owned! Weird, but true.

Then there is Zia Brown dog. This dog is nothing but pure love on legs. Here is a picture of the sweet brown-sugar love in her younger days.

Then there are the dogs of our past. Before we had kids, we had dogs . A funny pack of 4 girl dogs who were mischievous and awesome. We were so lucky to have such a dynamic herd of furry daughters. This is Sadie. She lived to be 17 1/2. She was quite the lady.

This was Kyly, Zach's heart dog. She was trouble wrapped up in a big smooshy, soft, love ball. Man was she trouble, but sweet. She lived to be 14 years old.

This was Sabrina, the dog of my heart. My friend, my companion, the being I could communicate with using only my eyes or my breath. We were linked, and I miss her every day. She lived to be 15 years old.

Dogs fill our days with joy. I have never, and will never, live without dogs.


A wonderful grandfather, a loving man, a gift to music. I have always felt loved by my father, every day of my life, which is no small thing for a child of divorce. No matter what was happening in his adult relationships, I knew my dad loved me. What a gift.

Naps. I love naps. They feel so indulgent and luxurious, especially if there is a warm body curled up with you. Noah is an especially snugly napper, but on the, rare, occasions that Zach will lie down, he is an awesome dozing partner too.

What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 6-9

Good morning! We are having a snow-day, the first of our winter (I don't count the weird day in October when school was cancelled for no apparent reason) and we are snuggled in. So, with no further ado....


SNOW DAYS! Unexpected little vacations. Days to play in new and lovely snow, or if it's really freezing and blowing, snuggle up by the fire and do art projects and read. A little bonus day of togetherness.

#7) Mom.

Funny, GENEROUS(!!!), smart, warm, loving. The perfect travel partner, always up for something fun, the best grandmother, creator of my delightful childhood. My friend, my confidant, my mommy. Oh, and so, so FUNNY. Did I mention how funny she is?

#8) Siblings.

Full siblings, half siblings, step siblings. These people have my back. They are infuriating and loving, sweet and funny. The keepers of my childhood memories. Another perspective on our parents.My staunchest defenders, my most honest critics. My friends.



My other mother. Maternal Unit 2 (MU2). Wise, loving, kind, funny. My mothers partner in life, my children's Big Pa. Everybody should have a Polly. Plus she's cute and has a Texas accent!

What are you grateful for today?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project 3-5

Good Morning! Continuing on with the things, big and little, that I am grateful for.

#3) This girl.

Yes, yes, yes! I get to spend my days knowing, loving and parenting Rowan Grace Taylor. Take the wee hours of last night, for instance. I awoke to a warm little body snuggling in next to mine, covering my face and hands with kisses and then tickling my arm as she, and I, drifted back into a sweet, sweet slumber. She has a STUBBORN STREAK! She hates being told what to do. She despises being thought wrong. She will bend over backwards to make others feel welcome, but there have also been days when I have missed the signals and the child just needed to be left to herself. Those are trying days. She teaches me to be observant. She teaches me about self-knowledge, the capacity to give to others and when to self preserve. She is strong, graceful, and funny. She is Grace.


This boy.

Oh dear lord this child is sweet. And infuriating. And FUNNY! And willful. And smart. And stubborn. And very, very, two. Textbook two as a matter of fact. Just when you think you know how to do something, like usher someone through the toddler years, BAM, the universe has a giggle and sends you a Noah. I am so grateful. He is SO snugly and soft and loving. He says the best things. He is so full of joy and love. He is a handful. I don't remember life before him. He fills our hearts and our souls with gratitude. Every day with him is new and sweet. Wonder what he will get up to today?

My morning cup of coffee. Just sneaking this in as I sit here enjoying it. I start looking forward to this the night before. I love everything about coffee. The smell of the beans, the sound of the grinder, the anticipation of the first cup, the feel of my hands wrapped around a mug. I like espresso, in all it's foamed and steamed milk forms. I regular coffee, strong and blond, no sugar. I am not a fan of flavored coffees, I am a purist that way, but will occasionally add a dash of cinnamon or cocoa powder to a frothy cup. The town I live in is the headquarters for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and the other day as I was running with Max the dog, way on the other side of the village, across the river, a breeze would kick up periodically and carry on it the smell of roasting beans from the factory. It made me so happy to smell that. Talk about taking your mind off your aching muscles! Yes, I love coffee.

Tell me what you are grateful for today!

Monday, January 10, 2011

100 Gratitudes: A New Year's Project

Helllooooooooo!!! Hi, I'm back. Remember me? So, lots has happened since I last checked in and there is lots to write about, but most of it is along the lines of your average daily life stuff, so there is no pressing hurry to fill you in. Instead, I want to do a little exercise I was given by the lovely Ms. Mulvaney over at Persisting Stars. I am to write down 100 things I am grateful for. Simple right? Actually yes. The list is writing itself faster than my hand can follow. I have been writing it in a lovely blank book, but it occurs to me that shouting your gratitude to the world for all to hear (or in this case, read) is an easy way to spread a little joy around, and maybe get some of you all to think about everything you are grateful for in your own lives. I will post one or two a day until I have worked my way down my list. I am already discovering that 100 is an absurdly small number.

So, here we go, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER (lest anyone/thing get offended;):


My husband. My funny, loving, handsome partner in crime. I am deeply grateful to have married someone with whom I am so compatible. I am so lucky to have met him. I have loved other people and met many other people I could love, but he is my choice, and I am his. The fact that we don't take our luck for granted is a big part of what makes us feel so grateful. We are easy together. We can be ourselves. We know that there were and are other people we could be with. In a way, that is what makes our marriage so special. We choose it, over and over again. Yes we drive each-other bat-shit crazy sometimes, but honestly, we get along absurdly well. We are only 14 years into this thing, so who knows what the future holds, but for now and forever, I am so grateful that I get get to be with him while I can. Here is a picture from our wedding, almost 10 years ago. (Yikes! that went fast)


This boy:

Oh my, what did I do deserve being this child's mother? How on earth could anyone be so lucky! Sweet, smart, loving, funny and cuddly. Kai is sensitive and reckless, caring and wild, loving and tough. He is both easy and impossible to parent and has the dubious privilege of being the oldest, thereby bearing the brunt of all my parenting mistakes. This he does with a kind of grace and forgiveness I can only hope to emulate. He is a prince among boys with a heart big enough to encircle the world.