11 Jul

“Koren, what did you do???

There are thick, waxy crayon marks on the wall.

On the letters of his name that I painted and hung over his bed.

On his night stand and CD player.

On the dresser.

And on the carpet, where a giant yellow sun has been scribed, complete with shooting rays of light.

Koren suddenly realizes that using bath crayons to decorate his bedroom was probably a bad idea.  His eyes fill with remorse… or maybe just fear as he takes in the look on Daddo’s face.

“I wanted my floor to look beautiful,” he whimpers, and then bursts into tears.

It appears that I have an artist on my hands.  And a lot of cleaning to do tomorrow.


This Life

10 Jul

"Mama & Daddo" - Original Artwork by Kaelin

My fridge is decorated with carefully drawn stick figures that represent our family and a menagerie of animals.

There is a pint-sized bicycle that apparently veered off course and lodged itself in my pantry.

The floor is littered with church clothes and “super capes.”

The unlucky gecko that made its way into the house has been captured, played with and set free outside.

There are two children running around the house in underwear, with hair wet from swimming.  One is singing Mother Knows Best at the top of her lungs, and the other is running in and out of the playroom shouting POW POW POW!

Ah, the end of another great day…


Justice Served

06 Jul

So the trial is over and Casey Anthony has been found “not guilty” of murdering her daughter.  The social media world is outraged, and jurors are taking a lot of heat for their decision. But frankly, I don’t see what else they could have done.

The prosecution has been reported to be “shocked” at the outcome.  If they were, then they were blindly foolish.

Most observers seem to agree on at least the basics:

  1. 2-year old Caylee Anthony’s death was premature, and whatever the cause, an adult should be held responsible
  2. Casey Anthony’s bizarre behavior during the disappearance of her daughter was unnatural for a worried/grieving mother, and therefore suspicious

But suspicious of what?  The prosecution never managed to substantiate the answer.  They went after her hardcore for premeditated murder, without any proof that a murder had even occurred.  They had no evidence to show how Caylee died, why she died, where she died.  As juror Jennifer Ford has succinctly pointed out, “If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be.”

And then there’s the “motive,” which simply didn’t hold water.  According to the prosecution, Casey Anthony killed her daughter so she could party more.

Seriously?  To quote Frank Farley, who says it as well as I ever could:

No credible motivational psychology that I know of would support that a single mother who seemed to love her child and who had lots of back-up parenting, in the grandparents and perhaps even from a brother, would go through the careful planning and complex, unpredictable, scary process of killing and disposing of her child in order to get a bit more free time.

This could not be true, unless she was seriously mentally ill, and no available evidence showed that. To go against that deep human instinct to take care of a child, and instead kill that child, demands a very significant reward in the opposite direction, and partying doesn’t rise to that level.

What sane human being could wake up in the morning and say, “Gee, I could have a fun time if I killed my daughter.”

Casey Anthony appears to be guilty of something involving the disappearance and death of her daughter – but the exact extent of her involvement can only be guessed at.  It’s likely that no one will ever know for sure what really happened to little Caylee.  But if anyone is to blame about the fact that Casey will not serve time for her crimes, it’s not the jurors.  It’s the prosecution.

Honestly, I find it difficult to be as outraged as the rest of the world seems to be.  Casey Anthony may have been acquitted, but has not gotten away without punishment.

Think about it.  She has served nearly three years in jail, mostly in isolation.  She has no home to go to, no friends or family that support her outside of her lawyers.  She’s been publicly defamed and her face has been broadcast to the entire world.  She would have reasonable cause to fear for her own safety in the wake of public outrage and demand for “justice” that has come from this case. She may not spend the rest of her life in a jail cell, but she will spend it on the outside of society, a pariah who can’t even go to the grocery store without being put on trial again in the minds of everyone she passes.

Her “bella vita” is gone.  Even looking at the recent pictures, you can tell this is not the same party girl that first met the public eye several years ago.  Her time in court may be over, but Casey Anthony’s trial will follow her for the rest of her life. Even if she does generate some income off the publicity circus that has arisen around this trial, money can’t bring her peace.  It would not surprise me if she becomes dependent on alcohol or other numbing/coping mechanisms.

Rest in peace, Caylee Anthony.  You have been at peace for 3 years and may never know the mark you left on this world.  Your death was tragic, but will be long remembered in life.


Other Random iPhone Pictures from June

05 Jul

will get caught up … will get caught up … will get caught up …

Awesome Bath Hair, by Koren

J'adore Yogurt!

Kaelin playing with a back scratcher, compliments of Chuy's Restaurant on Father's Day

A Koren/Mama date to Costco.

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Posted in Kaelin, Koren, Photos



05 Jul

Tuesday is Gymnastics Day, and the kids love it.  It’s the one place I can drop Koren off (besides the new summer camp, apparently) where I don’t have to worry about him refusing to leave my side.  Kaelin is the best in her class at the springboard-somersault-onto-the-elevated-mat combo.

Not sure why the video is so tiny. Apparently there’s a learning curve to iMovie that I haven’t quite mastered yet.

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Posted in Kaelin, Koren, Sports, Videos


Jump Street

05 Jul

On the last day that Gwen and Jason were with us (Ruth left earlier to visit her brother), we decided to visit Jump Street, an indoor trampoline park where adults get to play too.  Honestly, I’m not sure who had more fun – the kids or the grown ups.  We didn’t really go there with the intention of jumping around like kids, but it just looked like too much fun.  Jason got out there, then Jens joined in, and eventually I had to jump (ha ha) on the bandwagon too.  The other parents quickly followed suit and we could tell they were all having the time of their lives.

These videos just show a small portion of the facility.

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Posted in Friends, Kaelin, Koren, Videos



05 Jul

This is my 6th post today and I’m not even close to caught up.  Sheesh, you’d think that with my kids in summer school every day I’d have it together a little better.

Yesterday was Monday, which means that despite the fact that it was also Independence Day, the kids had swimming lessons (Swim School apparently does not observe holidays).

The kids are doing really well in class – Kaelin can swim by herself and come up for breaths, which is pretty cool considering that a few weeks ago I couldn’t even pour water over her head in the bath tub.  Now she can jump into the pool without even holding her nose, and swim back to the wall.  She can also swim the length of the pool by herself but is still kind of shy about showing off that accomplishment.

Koren has made some pretty good progress as well, despite his initial setback.  As a recap:

  • Class #1: Koren was afraid of the water but liked his teacher.  By the 3rd lesson, he was no longer crying and starting to have some fun.  Then one week he had a substitute teacher that he didn’t know, and nobody told the sub that Koren had just started the class and wasn’t as advanced as the other kids.  She immediately dunked him in the water and let go.  He thought he was going to die.  That was the last week of this class, and his teacher that he liked was no longer teaching.
  • Class #2: His teacher was nice, but he was traumatized and didn’t trust her.  When I tried to explain what had happened with the sub teacher, she still shrugged off his hysterical crying as something “normal for kids his age.”  We took 3 lessons with her and she began dipping him under the water even though he clearly wasn’t ready.  It also didn’t help that his lessons were at 6pm, by which time he was exhausted and emotionally drained.
  • Class #3: I moved him to a new teacher in an earlier time slot.  She was very responsive to Koren’s back story and spent the entire first lesson “building trust.”  He likes Kerin (and the fact that her name is similar to his) and even when he was nervously whimpering before his lesson yesterday, he told me he likes his new teacher and wants her to be his teacher every week.  During the first week with her, he quit crying during the first 15 minutes of the lesson – a first for him since “The Incident” (can I use the word “first” any more in this sentence?).  Yesterday, he only cried for about a minute, then actually seemed to enjoy the rest of the lesson.  This is huge for us.  We love Kerin and are only sorry that it took us this long to get him into her class.

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Posted in Kaelin, Koren, Milestones


Some Other Pictures from This Weekend

05 Jul

The girls (and Koren) played on this toy for hours. It remains the best birthday present purchase we've made to date.

Little Besties

The 3 Musketeers. Koren is an experienced tagalong, and the girls did a great job of including him.

My kids were not going to be left out of a family picture... Even if it's not their family.

I showed this picture to Koren. His comment: "Wow, look at all those knees."

What's a trip to Dallas without a visit to a self-serve yogurt joint?

My brother and Jason talking shop about music. Jon's in a local band, and they have similar taste in music.


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Posted in Friends, Kaelin, Koren, Photos

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