Monday, January 27, 2014

Telling stories - Franco

I've decided to use this space over the next month to tell some old stories. Stories that  need to escape from my brain.

Franco Shutt. A classy mutt.

When I was young and tone and newly married I insisted we rescue a dog. And Jason said we absolutely would not, could not, should not get a dog. Before our 1st anniversary Franco moved in. And I fed him and walked him and forced all 60 pounds of him into the bathtub to wash him.

And who did he love? Jason of course. Calm and easy Jason. Franco followed him around the house. Slept on the floor next to Jason's side of the bed. They communicated telepathically about walks and treats and outdoor adventures. Franco would cry and whine if he was ever separated from Jason.

Two and a half years ago, I was two months pregnant. My head had been aching for two days so I climbed into a hot bath. Franco pushed open the bathroom door and laid next to the tub. "Odd," I said.

In the morning I miscarried at seven weeks. Franco hadn't left my side.

And he is still here. Laying at my feet while I type this.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall days

A custom made sandbox - Made by me!

When I told Jason I was going to build a sandbox, I think he assumed that I would pick out a design and he would do the building.

Jason helped me buy the wood. And then I watched youtube videos about drilling pilot holes. I waited until he was gone for the day and Truman and I drilled and drilled and drilled some more. And the whole thing was super easy and now that I know I can use power tools . . .

Camping buddies

Notice the guitar t-shirts

Our new Coleman camp oven, passed down from Jason's mom

This fall Jason took Truman on his first "all boys" camping trip with Ed and Eben, some of our dearest friends.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


You know you need a break when you have this text conversation with the babysitter:

Me: Can you babysit?
Sitter: When?
Me: Anytime. I will work around you.
Me: I will pay you double if you come today.
Me: Please.
Me: Please?

Wisdom I heard this week from another mom:
Your family is never going to say to you, "Oh you've done so much. All that laundry. Sweeping those floors. Washing those windows. Why don't you take a break? Take some time to yourself." No. They will take and take and take. It is your job to know when you need a break and to make time for yourself.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Three months old

I am finding my time home with the boys to be wonderful and exhausting. The house is always a disaster - and if I step on a lego one more time I am going to freak out. The days have no structure, just nursing, napping, and playing imaginary games about cousins, boats, and monsters. We always stomp around outside for a bit. Most of the time it is boring. Boring in a good way.

We wonder out loud to each other as we crash into bed at night: How will we do this when I go back to work? How will we get everything done? Where will we find moments of peace? Will it be a dreaded hamster wheel with too many moving parts? What will happen when both boys get sick for the first time?

Desmond turned three months old yesterday. He has started to laugh and my goal each morning is to get a good chuckle out of him. He is chunky and smooth and perfectly wonderful. Truman has gone back to preschool and I think he is happy there. I am not totally sure and that always weighs heavy on my heart. No knowing. Trying to talk to him about it and asking too many questions so he clams up. Wondering if he feels included and loved. Wondering if I am a worry wart. That is all for now.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Quick thoughts

I keep hoping to sit down and capture this summer in picture and words so down the road I can return to this precious time and relive it. But alas, fall is at the door. New rain boots must be purchased. Nannies must be interviewed. Fantasy football teams must be drafted (apparently). So here are some quick thoughts.

  • Desmond is a charmer. His face lights up when he sees Truman in the morning. He is a large baby - wearing 9-12 month clothes already.
  • Truman is obsessed with ages and sizes. "Is he older than me?" "When will I be four?" "Is he as big as my daddy?"
  • Jason is working extremely hard - various endeavors. Backpacking in the Olympics. Hopefully traveling to Sun Valley. Splitting wood. Oh my goodness - the cedar piled high in our wood shed makes us all happy about fall.
  • I am neurotic. Scattered. I have a million things to do and nothing ever gets done. I dread my return to work but I am determined to wear a brave face. I long to craft, cook, organize, but there are never solid blocks of time to finish any one task. I wish I could say that I am able to surrender . . .
Ferry time

This is moments after Desmond rolled over for the first time.

Pearygin Lake

Spending the day at the Lake

Trying to get a tan

Moments before I pushed Franco into the water

Daily commute from the lake

Taking a ride

My dad, looking good

My favorite first grader!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sleeping close

Wishing we had a California King. Wishing Truman would stop taking off his Pull-Up in the middle of the night. Wishing sleeping newborns didn't grunt and fling their arms so much.

And when I am old, I will probably look back at this picture and wish I could relive this moment. The entire family in one bed. Listening to each other breathing and sighing.

Our summer to-do list

In the summer, time seems to expand. What are we going to do with all this time? Just relax and take things as they come? No - we will make a rigid to-do list and follow it seamlessly or risk feeling like the whole thing was a failure come Labor Day. Here is the Shutt Family Plan:

·         Go Camping (We have a trip planned to Lake Chelan and another trip to the Methow. We will see how our wee ones do in a tent together and of course the drive will be interesting.)
·         Spend a day at beach (Any beach. Just sand and buckets and snacks.)
·         Fish from our canoe
·         Port Townsend Farmers Market
·         BI 4th of July parade (We missed it! We did go to the Street Fair, but we missed the parade. Maybe next year.)
·         Leave the kids with a babysitter. (Which means pumping. And teaching Des to drink from a bottle. So much work! But worth it to actually finish a conversation with my spouse.)
·         Bonfire in our backyard
·         BBQ at Fay Park (One of our favorite beaches on Bainbridge)
·         Build a custom sandbox for our deck
·         Take Truman to a Mariners game

Friday, July 12, 2013


Four weeks old and outgrowing the newborn size

"I bit a T into my apple"

Brothers cuddling in the morning

Making a hot air balloon

Running the 50 yard dash

Oh those lips and blue eyes!