Friday, August 31, 2012


In loving memory of:

Genevieve Eileen O'Laughlin

February 14th, 1927 - August 18th, 2012.

I hardly, if even at all, remember the first time I met Genny. Not sure where or when it was, but probably a little over 11 years ago. What I do remember is that, she like the rest of the O'Laughlin clan (that she raised) was so welcoming and excited to have a new face hanging with the family. I remember thinking it was odd that she should care so much to meet me and get to know me, as I was just the silly little girlfriend of a silly little teenage grandson. We must have seemed like such babies to her, but she never indicated that's how she felt. We had a small connection recognized early on, she knew both sets of my grandparents.

Genny always wanted to know how I was doing, what my aspirations were, and congratulated me regularly on my accomplishments throughout the years.  She always listened, asked for updates and loved to stay "in the know".  It wasn't until her recent passing that I realized how little I did know, or how little I had put together about this great woman.  My own grandma often spoke of her, and golfing and boy scouts and other activities they did together. After all, my grandmother had 6 children at St. Peter's and Genny had 5...a few of them were bound to overlap.  And I remember it being mentioned that she got a college degree of some sort late in life.  I knew she was involved in a church over in the ghetto.   I knew she loved the Southwestern art. I caught little bits a pieces over the decade that I knew her, but not until the end did I see it all as one.  These little things I observed and heard, and gathered were not just trivial accomplishments, they were her passions.  She learned Spanish.  She loved gospel singing.  She went para-sailing in her mid 70's.  How dare she ever let me ramble on about the few experiences I have had in my short time here, when she had lived such a full, wonderful, fascinating life, herself.  But, I guess that was Genny.

And though, I don't believe she had a chance to meet little George, who's namesake was her husband, he will forever share her initials: GEO. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The birthday bug.

For the months of July and August (possibly my 2 most favorite months of the year) I was cooped up in the hospital. I worked overnight. I worked weekends. Rain or shine.  Wait, strike the rain part, there was no rain. I guess I could look at it as a blessing that it was deathly hot all Summer, as it would have hindered my pool ventures significantly, even if I'd had the time.  But I get cabin fever, very easily.  This claustrophobia has a tendency to evolve into my insisting we move.  Yes, I became obsessed with the idea of uprooting my entire family of 5 {plus 3}, while in the busiest time of our lives, to find a new home, namely one with a main floor mud/washroom just because I felt cooped up for a few weeks.  My name is Erin, and I have a chaos problem.
Luckily, my family knows me all too well.  Turns out, like the Kate Spade hat, in my favorite color of green, that my MIL gifted me for my 30th birthday says, "I need a vacation".  So, besides a great night out for dinner and a movie at the new Alamo Movie house to see "TED", that's exactly what my husband gave me: Chicago.  He purchased a City Pass to see 5 attractions in Chicago, one of these housing real Dinosaur bones, which is something I have always wanted to see firsthand.  Did dinosaurs really exist? Really? Doesn't seem possible. [Insert Missouri state slogan here.]

One sister made sure to get me a mug pointing out my age, because no 30th is complete without a little bit of flaunting that she is still in her 20's.  The other got me balloons, perhaps attempting to preserve my youth.  My mother made my usual birthday treat, sauteed mushrooms, as those are banned from my house, due to the fact that the smell induces retching from the ol' hubs.  And, for my 4th night of birthday celebrating, my in-laws provided a lovely dinner of meatloaf.  So, despite my insane schedule, I managed to celebrate my birthday for nearly the entire month of August.  Now that takes skill.
The vacation happened this last week of August, and I was so exhausted and happy to return to my home sweet home of over 6 years, that the moving bug has been cured.  I love my familiar, happy home.  The boys love it too.  We will see how long this little venture staves off the next round of moving obsession.  I know Brock is always with me on this one.  He continually talks about "needing a new house".  Hopefully, the start of school in a week will nip his Cabin Fever in the bud.

What a great, fantastic, dream of 30 years.  Seriously, what would I ever change?  I dreaded this number, but I have already grown to love it.  Finally, my age matches my shoe, I mean maturity.  I always think of my mother as being in her 30's, doesn't seem to be a bad decade to be eternally stuck. 

Friday, August 24, 2012


The best surprise of my life was George Edward.  Always will be.  I did not plan for him to arrive as early as he did, but I couldn't be happier if I had.  And by early, I mean by a year or so.  I love him.  Every smile, giggle, confused grimace and new silly face he comes up with on a near daily basis.  George turned 6 months a few days ago, and I thought to myself, wow.  I had originally planned to just start thinking about #3 right now.  And number 3 has not only been born, but it now a half year old!

Life with George feels balanced. He fits right in with his big brothers, and is already making raspberries on my belly, turning his head to see the loud motorcycle speeding by, and laughing at fart noises.  He gets kicked in the face, tripped on, hugged too tightly, toys stolen from his grasp, and kissed by 4 different family members hundreds of times a day.  Oh, and let's not forget the open-mouth dog kisses. He loves it.  And, he holds his own.  Third boy = tough as balls.  That kiddo can get where ever he desires, he can crawl in a very uncoordinated way, and it currently attempting to do the bear crawl - probably not the best way to go about it, but, hey, better then sitting still.

All my children have been sitting extremely well, and crawling in some capacity by 6 months.  Brock was pulling up and standing well by this point.  Curtis was full on crawling.  George?  He is some bizarre mix of the 2.  Kind of crawling well, kind of standing, just not sure where he's going to go with all of it, but I can guess he will continue to land in the middle of the Brock-Curtis spectrum and walk right in between his 2 brothers at 12 months. As he is exactly between the 2 in height, at the 75th percentile (Brock was 85th, Curtis 65th).  He is still rockin' the double chin, and I would never describe him as scrawny looking, but he is only an ounce bigger than my skinny mini Brock was, at 17lbs 11oz and trails Curtis by well over a pound.  As I've said before, I think he's just squishy.  Not going to be my muscle man.  Might be Mr. Personality.  And, you can tell, that kid has an opinion about EVERYTHING.  Can't wait for him to start talking.
Happy 6 months, little buddy.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Goodnight Moon

Ninety percent of the time, I am the last one in the house to close my eyes at night (Nike might still be up, but she's a cat, they don't count). I lie in bed and smile. I soak up the silence. I take comfort in the peaceful moment just before dozing off myself. I like to believe this stillness signifies that I am doing things right. For this brief second, I am 100% sure that every decision in my life has been the right one. I am sleeping next to the love of my life, in our insanely comfortable bed, underneath the roof of our own house with 3 slumbering baby boys. I am relaxed because I know those babies must feel at ease, safe, loved, since they will not wake up throughout the night, (except for the rare occasion, mostly due to illness.). My parenting skills must be slightly proficient to instill such a sense of security for them.

I love that the dogs know exactly where to go. That Brock sleeps with Giraffee slung over his neck every night. That Curtis has his butt nearly a foot in the air while sucking on his "bpoppi" and snuggling his "banket beear". That George is buried in his zebra with those 2 fingers in his mouth. That tater is under his fleece blanket. That Fannie isn't howling or destroying pillows clothing or toys. That Brock and Curtis happily share a room.  I love all of it.

How can I not smile when these are the conditions I am privy to. Every single night. It is in this moment, and this hour, that I feel not only proud, but blessed as well. Here in the quiet, I give thanks for all that I have. And I don't wish for more. The day is done. I am satisfied with what the day has produced. I can relish in it for a moment.

Soon, I will close my eyes, and wake up to a whole new day of chaos, desires, needy children, dogs and husband. I will strive to accomplish 1000 things in that day. But night will come again. We will all retire. And I will have my one, quiet moment of complete happiness and satisfaction again.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's Recording

What can I say?  I am a creature of habit.  I see the photo op, I pick up that camera, I turn it on and I quickly point and shoot. Only to discover that the camera was set to record, and the moment is gone, and all I am left with is a short, 3 second video clip of me whining about the missed memory.  I am not sure, when, why or how, but it dawned on me...I say the same thing every time.  I then thought, I need to string these together just to show how ridiculous the whole situation really is.  I found somewhere in the range of about 10 more silent clips of the same thing, I must have managed to get the camera off before the "Oh" came out, but trust did.