Sunday, 28 December 2014

Malcolm's Birth


My baby was ten days overdue.

We scheduled the induction but I was hopeful, right up until the end, that I might go into labour spontaneously.  My daughter had been born the day before her scheduled induction, so it was possible.  I had heard so many negative stories about inductions and my daughter's birth had been so quick and straight forward, that I was really hoping for a repeat performance.  It was not to be.  It was bizarre to go to bed the night before and know for certain that the next day I would have my baby, and to know that it would be a very difficult day to get there.

8am.  On the morning of my induction, my parents picked up the older kids and we headed to the hospital to register at 8 am.  My doctor arrived at 8:30am and we talked about the options, which was a review from my last appointment.  An internal exam showed that I was already well on my way to having the baby, so we decided to start with just breaking my waters.  We were hopeful that that would start labour within a few hours.  My doctor broke my waters at 9am, and headed to her office.  Shawn and I settled in to enjoy the last few hours of quiet.

10 am.  We were hungry so Shawn went and bought us an early lunch.  Surely, I would be in heavy labour at noon, and we thought it was prudent to eat in advance.

1 pm.  The foreseen heavy labour did not arrive at lunch.  I was having contractions, but they were so small and so inconsistent that they could not be called labour.  At this point, it was time for us to get serious.  Shawn's mom delivered cookies, and we started walking up and down the hospital stairs.

1:30 pm.  The cookies were gone.  I started jogging up and down the hospital stairs.

2:30 pm.  My doctor returned.  Almost six hours in, and I still had nothing to show for it.  So, she asked me: what do you want to do?  In my mind, I had given myself a cut-off of 3pm before switching to Pitocin.  It was time to start the IV.  She thought it was a good idea and she said it shouldn't take much to get things going.  After all, I had started the day 3-4 cm dialated and 80% effaced, and spent almost six hours with ruptured membranes.  The tipping point had to be close.

3:00 pm.  The nurse inserted the IV and I started the Pitocin.  There was a shift change, and an very perky nurse took over.  She told me that she was only on until 7pm, and she was confident that she would get to meet my baby.  As the hour wore on, I started getting mild contractions at more consistent intervals, but it was nothing major.  They hooked up the monitors to track my contractions and the baby's heart beat (that's the part that freaked me out the most about induction: "why do you have to keep me hooked to these?" Response: "Sometimes, if the dose is too high, you can just go into one continuous contraction or the baby can get too stressed."  Right.  No biggie?)  At some point, I think this is when I started joking that the baby had wrapped its little feet around my Fallopian tubes and was hanging on for dear life.

4:00 pm.  I learned that the standard procedure is to up the dose of Pitocin every hour if its not working.  It wasn't working: Perky nurse upped the dose.  Within 10 minutes I was in labour.  Like breathing-through-it contractions.  I remembered why getting pregnant was a bad idea.  But Perky Nurse was perfect for me.  When she saw I was in good humour, she joked with me between contractions and encouraged me in a totally honest, not raa-raa-raa kind of way.  At one point, she looked on the contraction monitor, looked at me, and when it finished, she said kind of surprised " what would rate your pain at?"  It was an eight or a nine.  "Eight or nine?  Eight or nine!  Usually at this point I'm scraping some women off the ceiling!"

5:30ish.  The timeline started to get blurry at this point.  Everyone on the ward knew that my last labour had happened really fast, and when I felt the need to push, my daughter was born minutes later.  So Perky Nurse did not leave my side from about 4pm on and at 5:30pm, I said I was getting faint feelings so she called the doctor right away.  It seemed a little premature to me, and for the next hour things got a little awkward for me and I felt really bad, because the two nurses and doctor did not want to leave the room for fear I would have an insta-baby.  I did not.  I did however have ridiculous contractions (Perky Nurse: "There are some women that I want my teenage daughter to see in labour to keep her away from boys.  You are not one of them.").  I never knew what was coming and so I couldn't really tell anyone else in the room if I was getting closer are just stalling.  That's the thing about inductions - sometimes I would have a 4 minute long contraction that was manageable and other times I would have a two minute contraction that took my breath away.  Sometimes I would have 10 seconds before a new wave came, sometimes I had 3 minutes.

6:30ish.  I was done with it.  Or at least I wanted to be.  I kept asking the doctor to check me even though I didn't feel an intense urge to push and finally at around 6:30, she said there was a small part that wasn't fully dilated, but I was close enough that I wanted to push it would probably be fine and progress the labour.  On the next contraction, I pushed.  I pushed hard.  There was no baby.  You have to understand that with my daughter, when I said I was done it was over - I pushed, she came out.  So I was shocked that not all labours end that way.  My doctor explained: "Its going to take time, and this is exactly what is supposed to happen.  The baby has to rock up and down a few times."  That sounded ridiculous to me, not that I told her as much.  As far as I'm concerned, if I'm going to work that hard to get a baby down, he sure isn't going to go back up again.  I braced myself for the next contraction.  It was going to happen.  I was NOT going to experience that kind of discomfort again.  Now, its worth mentioning that as a quieter person I've always wondered if I were attacked or really needed to scream for help, would I be able to set off the siren?  I can now tell you with certainty, I can indeed.  I apologized to the audience between pushes and we braced ourselves.  I was ready, I was pushing, I was screaming, and he wasn't coming out.  I stopped and - I'll never forget this moment - I looked at my doctor and said "I can't" and she looked right back at me and said "Yes you can, its RIGHT THERE."  And I did.  It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

I cannot say the following sentence without sounding like I'm bragging: I gave birth to a 10 pound, 10 ounce baby.  They placed him on my chest, all warm and squishy and ginormous and it was such a rush.  He was crying and I was hushing him and we were both just trying to breath.  We stopped.  We caught our breath.  We snuggled.  There is nothing like it.  Nothing.

As they were cleaning me up and I literally was so taxed that I could not move my muscles from the waist down my doctor said,  "So do you want to know what went wrong?"  Gulp, yes, because that was NOT like the last time.  "Well, first of all he's HUGE.  But secondly, he came out with his arm wrapped around his forehead."  Perky Nurse: "That added a good three centimeters!"  Did I mention I loved my nurse?  By this time my ego was huge.  All in all, it was horrible, but it went exactly as it should and I know looking back, I will have good feelings about it.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Reading and an Overdue Baby

"I'll take 17 cups of raspberry leaf tea with that." 

In the last week of my pregnancy, I decided to read "one last book" before things got crazy with a newborn.  I picked a Man Booker Prize winner, so I was sure to end on a high note.  I requested it from the library and when it arrived, I discovered I was in for a 700-page high note.  Considerably longer then I had hoped for.

Much like my pregnancy.

But it was an amazing book, that was compelling and opened me up to topics that I had previously had no interest.  Of course, I couldn't get it done before my induction date, so I took it with me to the hospital, thinking I might read a few more pages.  It was the book that just kept going.  Aptly chosen by some one who was experiencing the never ending pregnancy.  We were all surprised when I got to spend the entire day reading, as we slowly worked from the most natural induction methods to, eventually, pitocyn.  And I still didn't finish the book.  I did finish my pregnancy.

So, ultimately my pregnancy was a 700 page Man Booker Prize Winner type of experience: long, at times difficult, but looking back it was the right length that allowed me quiet time to reflect and connect with myself.

Its length was exactly what I needed.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Our new addition


Welcome to the world, Malcolm!

Malcolm Freeman Warner
December 18, 2014
10 lb 10 oz
23.5 inches

Sunday, 14 December 2014

On Baby Names


After we named Scarlett most people adored her name - or at least to our faces were kind with their judgement - except for one close person.  They said, "Hmph, not a name I'd give my child."

Ouch.  At first, I was a little disappointed and even a little hurt.  But after some contemplation, I looked at their children's names and thought: "Of course they wouldn't - their tastes are totally different than mine.  I would never dream of using their children's names either."  It was no longer the message that was bothersome, only the delivery.

The kids and I had a conversation on Saturday that illustrates the issue.

Nevin: Scarlett, you're a Silly-Bo-Billy.
Scarlett: No!  I'm a Scarlett.
Me: What about a Scarlett-Bo-Barlett?
Scarlett:  No!  Only Scarlett.  No silly names!
Me: What about Nevin?  Should we give him a silly name?
Both: Yes!
Me: So what should we call him?
{Scarlett gets lost in thought.  Nevin waits eagerly.}
Scarlett:  John!

You see, here is the thing:  Your John might be my Jett, or your Josiah might be my John.  We all are a part of different social circles, consume different media and form different opinions on names.  Scarlett has never met a John her age - maybe a Jack, but not a John - and I'm pretty sure the only John that she comes across regularly is the wildly dressed John the Baptist.  And he is pretty silly looking to a three-year-old (what kind of guy wears miniskirts made out of camel hair anyways?)

Shawn and I seemed to have decided on names for the baby, and this week we'll be opening ourselves up to criticism yet again.  Just remember when you someone presents their baby to you, they gave a lot of thought to that baby's name and they have done what they believe to be the very best for that child.  Be kind with your judgement, or at least with your words.

p.s.  Why are selfies so easy for teenagers?  This was taken two weeks ago, and I am very conflicted about it.  Also, why is it that unbrushed straight-out-of-the-shower hair can look like that, but when I put effort in its a mess?  So unreliable.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Nail Polish Guide for Pregancy


Can you still see your toes?  It is the cliched question that every pregnant woman gets asked weekly.

The answer, of course, is no.  But I don't need to see them.  I know what is there, and when I do get a peek, before bed or when I climb into bed, I am reminded of the love that has covered them for the past three months.

I'm not talking about the metaphorical love growing in my belly - thats a little too sweet for me.  I'm talking about the nail polish that has literally covered them for the past few months.  The three best pedicures I've had in my life, involving the three most important women in my life.

The first was in September.  Scarlett loves getting her nails painted, so when its just the two of us I'll often give her a little pedicure.  For the first time, she asked if she could do my nails.  I obliged, and she did a hack job, but I loved it.  She was so proud and my heart swelled.  I told myself I would never take it off, and proudly wore my sandals to work.

Then I flew west to visit my brother for Thanksgiving.  My niece, who is nine, noticed my colourful, chipped toes and asked if she could do them over.  So began my epic second pedicure.  She got out all the colours she could find and layered them however she pleased.  To enhance my spa experience, her five-year-old brother got out his toy monster trucks and rolled them on my arms, neck and back.  "Do you like your massage, Auntie Sasha?"  I loved it.  When it was all done, my toes were amazing: yellow, orange, purple, navy, and turquoise.  "On that foot," she said, "your toes spell love.  And do you see the 'K' on your other big toe?  That's 'K' for Christ."  She too was so proud of her work, and my heart was full.

That pedicure, chipped and worn, lasted until this week.  My mother took me to a spa to get a pedicure in preparation for my labour.  Before my first delivery, she had read somewhere that a pedicure could induce labour, so it has become a tradition.  She has taken myself or my sister-in-laws out for a pedicure just before her due date for every child.  It has never worked, but the ritual has given us a sense of calm and control - a feeling like we are ready for what lies ahead.  This is probably her last grand baby, and so when I look at my toes I see her love and support for her extended family as another chapter closes.

The power of touch, and the value of ritual, is not lost on me nor is it new to us.  Even in the Bible there is the story of the sinner who came to Jesus and anointed his feet with her hair, oil and tears.  It was a profound act of love that connected and humanized both involved.  These three women all asked to care for me with no motivation but to connect and share their love.  The pride that came with humbling themselves enough to care for another far outweighed their need for the act to be reciprocated and the intimacy of touch restored us both.

So, no, I cannot see my toes.  And until this week, a stranger perhaps might have thought, "clearly that girl has no idea how hideous that nail polish looks!"  But they would've been wrong: my toes have been fantastically perfect for months.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Pregnancy Update: 34 Weeks

Things are going well.  That's the update.

This is really about what Scarlett did after bath time a couple weeks ago.  She likes to hug the baby and sometimes kiss it, too (last night she kissed my belly and said, "I think it kissed me back.").  On this particular evening, with me sitting on the floor and she standing wrapped in a towel, we were face-to-face.  She asked to hug the baby and bent over to give my belly a giant hug.  Then she said she wanted to hear the baby.  I said sure, thinking that she would place her ear on my belly like a stethoscope.  She stood up, gently placed her hands on my cheeks and pushed, causing my mouth to open like a fish.  She put her ear right next to my mouth and said, "Mommy, I can hear it!"

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Working out together


My darling Scarlett loves to work out with me.  Nevin likes to watch for a bit and then dart off to play cars or ministicks.

Being pregnant, I'm just using light YouTube videos to get things moving.  They are perfect for Scarlett.  Its adorable.  She has her own mini physio ball that she uses and some very high-quality toilet paper roll weights.  She lunges ("I'm lunching"), she dips, she stretches ("I'm stetching"), she does tricep kickbacks.  The absolute best moments are when she tries to do something new with her body that she's never done before.  She makes me giggle, and then she does, too.

These are the moments that we forget.  These are the moments I want to remember.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Labour Day Photo Shoot

I thought it had been a while since we had done family pictures, so we set out on the long weekend.  We found a field and had the early morning light on our side.  My insta-hayfever as soon as we started walking in the field and Nevin's disposition were working against us.  Scarlett found a clover flower, so she was happy to be frolicking, and it ended up being mostly pictures of the two of us all taken in about 10 minutes.  Here are some of my favourites.







Monday, 1 September 2014

Highlight of the summer?

This morning, while stretching on the floor after a nice little workout, I had a traumatic experience.  A mouse ran beside me, scuttling around the silhouette of my leg.  One minute, I was stretching my hamstrings, the next, I was on the couch.  I don't even know how I got there.  Later, Shawn said that he had heard a noise from upstairs but thought, "that sound doesn't sound like Gwennie."  I'm presuming some time between the floor and the couch, I may have shrieked.  Maybe twice.

I called for Shawn and the whole family came to the rescue.  The kids were full of great ideas:

"We need a cat!"
"We need cheese!"
"Mommy, mommy!  I have lots of big things in my play kitchen to catch it!  Isn't that a great idea?"
"Who can we borrow a cat from?"
"Here's a giant Tupperware!"

The kids thought it was fantastic and alternated between peeking under and jumping on the furniture, squealing with delight at spotting their furry foe.  They chased it from corner to corner of the room.

My job was to make sure it didn't go up the stairs and didn't leave the den where it was trapped.  I felt pretty comfortable with this, since I was a couple steps higher than their level, until the mouse came scurrying towards my corner and started jumping, trying to make the step.  At this point, I may have declared "if you don't catch that mouse soon, I'm going to have this baby right here and now!"  Shawn laughed and said he'd never seen this side of me - "you are like every stereotype ever right now!"

In the end Shawn, armed with a broom and my prized round yellow Tupperware especially designed to keep pies and mice fresh, caught the little nuisance.*  The kids wanted keep him as a pet.  I vetoed.  We do not live in a democracy.  Shawn bid him adieu and peace was restored.

It was totally awesome and hilarious.  A perfect way to end our summer.  How is it that the littlest things in life can be so grand and fantastic?

*Honestly though ladies, if you are pregnant or have ever been pregnant, let's not lose sight of the real accomplishment here: I am mere days from my third trimester and I didn't pee my pants.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Flushing Underwear


In the five seconds I had my backed turned on Scarlett after helping her with toileting, two things happened: she dropped her underwear into the toilet and the flush cycle finished.

She shrieked and I turned.  "Bring them back!  Bring them back!"

She told me what had happened.  I know that she was curious and she had no idea what the consequence would be - after all, these were her purple and pink princess underwear.  We sat down and I explained that we couldn't undo what she had done, and we couldn't bring the underwear back.  She cried.  She seemed to accept it, but was very disappointed in the outcome.  "Its so sad," she said between sobs.  "Its just so sad."

We had lunch.  After lunch, I asked her if she wanted a nap.  The tears started rolling again: "Yes. I need my blanket.  I need a nap.  Its so sad.  Its a bad day."

The nap definitely helped, but when she woke up her first words were "where's my princess underwear?"  This time she just sighed at my response.

At the end of the day, when Shawn got home he said he'd heard that her day was rough.  "Oh, yes, Daddy.  Sometimes little people have bad days.  Sometimes, little people who are three have very bad days."

If I was a better writer, this would be an allegory.  Instead we'll have to just take it as face value - an adorable little anecdote - and maybe pull a couple life lessons out of it: when life sucks, hug your mom and take a nap.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Snapshoots of Scarlett in Maine


1.  I bought treats for snacks for the long trip.  Trail mix seemed like a good idea until, out of boredom, she stuck a peanut up her nose somewhere outside of Granby, Quebec.  After a trip to the ER in Sherbrooke, complete with a blast of saline solution and suction, we are confident that she will never do that again.  Mostly because she is forbidden to ever touch peanuts again.

2.  She wasn't enjoying the strolls along the coast at low tide until we started looking for pink and purple sea shells.  She started running to Daddy to have him take a picture of every rock and shell she could find with a hint of pink/purple.  She only wanted pictures so that she could "leave them for the other little girls to find."

3.  On the smell of the ocean:
"Something smells gooey in my nose.  I no like the ocean smell."

4. Upon trying her first ever Fruit Roll-up on the trip back:
"Mommy, this was a VERY good idea."

5.  On saying good-bye to Bar Harbor (out the van window, in a wistful sing-songy voice):
"See you in a while Bar Harbor.  See you when the baby is bigger and I'm really big.  Like when I'm six."

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

How I got here.


I had a miscarriage.  A long time ago.
Last February, actually.  And then we took a break, and then we decided two kids was good enough for us.  But it wasn't and we changed our minds.  But instead of getting pregnant quickly, like all the times before, it took months.

So here we are.  Pregnant.  Yesterday, Shawn announced it on Facebook, and people were congratulating us.  I realized that we forgot to tell a lot of people.  We haven't seen many people in a while and we didn't feel the need to overshare.  We aren't just pregnant; we're half way to the finish line.  Now that the baby is rolling around and elbowing my belly whenever I rest (even as I type this), it seems a little late to apologize for not sharing something so happy with caring people who surround us.

My doctor, who is also a friend, tells me it is common for women to be a little aloof with their subsequent pregnancy after a miscarriage.  This has been the experience for me.  We didn't tell our kids, friends or families until I couldn't hide it any longer.  I'd pull aside my boxy denim shirts and frame my belly with my hands, and they would invariably say, "woah!"  I guess I was a master of disguise.  It wasn't until this time - around 14 weeks - that Shawn turned to me and said, "when are you due anyways?"  We hadn't talked about it.  I didn't even look it up until after I heard the heart beat.  We didn't get attached to this pregnancy, and although we talked about morning sickness all the time, we rarely talked about the baby.  I think it is the only way to cope with what you worry might be impending loss.

As my doctor-friend said, "people find out they are pregnant and they jump to the birth, but 40 weeks is a long time, and a lot can happen between now and then."  Its so true, and while we are in awe and so much more appreciative of this (our final) pregnancy than any of our others, our excitement is tempered with sensibility.

Sunday, 6 April 2014



... because no one can pull off a cape like a five-year-old.  It finally feels like spring and we are out celebrating and saving the world.


Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Weekend Away


Almost 6 years ago, Shawn and I booked an epic road trip.  We planned to start in Las Vegas, drive down to Los Angeles, and head up the Pacific Coast on Hwy. 1 to San Fransico, all the while staying in B&B's and boutique hotels, traveling at whatever pace we wanted with a list of "maybe" destinations.  We even bought expensive sunglasses to accessorize with the Californian romance of it all.  Then I got pregnant, got really sick and we cancelled the whole thing.

Then we had Nevin.  Suddenly, our schedule revolved around his schedule.  Our needs took a back seat to his, and later Scarlett's, because it was the path of least resistance.  That three week vacation turned into a "someday, when the kids move out" dream.  We are fine with that.  Life moves on and evolves.  What we didn't expect: more than five years after the arrival of our first born, we had not had a night away from the kids.  Not a single morning of just waking up quietly, without the sound of children.

A few weeks ago, my counsellor asked a simple question: "when was the last time you and your husband had a night away?"  At the end of the session, she gave me a simple task for homework - book a weekend alone.  I take her advice very seriously.

My kind parents-in-laws not only said they would keep the kids, they suggested that they spend the weekend at our house to make the kids as comfortable as possible, since it was something new.  There was nothing standing in our way; not even guilt, since it was practically a prescription on the advice of a health care professional.

So, we went to Wakefield, Quebec.  It is only a little over an hour away, but it was eons from our routines and responsibilities.  We didn't have to worry about who needed a snack, who needed to get to bed, who was about to pee their pants because they hadn't been to the washroom in... wait, how long has it been?, or who did or did not like the current excursion.  It was just us.  My counsellor said it would be a good chance for us keep our marriage strong, but I still feel pretty safe in our relationship.  For me, it was more about the freedom from my thoughts and pre-planning and constant contingency plans.  It was an opportunity to just live in the moment with my most favourite person in the world.

We had things we wanted to do: we cross-country skied, went to the spa, ate at a bakery, laid in bed (just because we could).  All of those things were unscheduled though.  On Saturday, we had a late dinner.  When we went to the spa, we got there a little later than we should've and had to wait to get in.  Breakfast was three hours later than our bellies were used to.  It didn't matter.  Waiting was glorious.  Waiting was quiet.  Our minds were quiet.

We are thinking about trying it again this summer.  We have no plans, and it won't be extravagent, but that's kind of the point: it's all about simplifying and taking ourselves back to our roots.  Its about soaking up the moment we are in.


Monday, 17 February 2014

Snapshots of Happy Times

Scarlett.  She fills every bag she can find with random stuff.  Its compulsive.  She can't help it.  If she sees an empty bag, it must be filled.  I've been dealing with this stage -- the missing cooking utensils, the puzzle with the one missing piece, Nevin's "favourite" matchbox car AWOL, a hammerless toy toolbox -- and chiding her for at least six months, but secretly I find it endearing.


Nevin.  He got his first Lego set today.  He loves it.  He watched Shawn put it together the first time.  About an hour later, he asked me for the constructions* and took it a part himself.  He has spent at least two hours today carefully taking it apart and putting it back together.  He loves puzzles and anything that requires order and quiet concentration.  I think there might be a lot of Lego in our future.


* Constructions are instructions.  I correct him, subtly, all the time but he's not getting it.  Last summer, I tried to explain it in detail, but that went like this:
Nevin: Are those the constructions?
Sasha: No, these are the instructions.
Nevin: The constructions?
Sasha: No.  INstructions, not CONstructions.  In, like when you go IN something.  Like the opposite of out.
Nevin: Oh, okay.
Two minutes pass, while I read the instructions.  Nevin sits quietly beside me.
Nevin: So, what do the INconstructions say?

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Walnut Mocha Torte

Walnut cake

This recipe is amazing.  It was passed along to me from a male co-worker who packed a piece for his lunch.  After he opened his container, someone asked "what's that?"  A complement and a request were hiding in the question.  He looked up, surveyed the six women staring at him, and told them to grab a fork.

He is a smart man who is loved by all.

Walnut Mocha Torte
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, November 1987 issue)
For the cake:
1 cup walnuts or pecans
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
3/4 cup

For the icing:
2 tsp. instant coffee crystals
2 cups whipping cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Grease and lightly flour two 8-in round baking pans.  Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine walnuts (or pecans), flour and baking powder.
3.  In a food processor (or blender) combine eggs and sugar until smooth.  Add the nut mixture, and blend until smooth. 
4. Divide the batter between the two baking pans and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake springs back slightly when touched.  The middle may sink a bit during cooking - that is okay.  Let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
5. Slice each cake length wise in half, so that you have 4 thin round cake layers.  Layer the cake and icing, and cover the outside in icing.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Scarlett's 3rd Birthday


She wanted a pink puppy.  It looked like Easter.  She loved it.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

A 5th Birthday Sleepover


Nevin had a sleep over with his good neighbour friend for his fifth birthday.  They were pretty tired by the end of the day, but they still couldn't resist talking to each other after the lights went out.

The first time Shawn went up to ask them to stop talking, Nevin said, "but Daddy, I was scared of the dark."  Shawn told him his friend was there, so there was nothing to worry about.  To punctuate Shawn's argument with an exclamation point, Nevin's friend piped up: "Yeah!  And I'm FEARLESS!"

About ten minutes later, we could hear the whispers and excited tones again.  Shawn trudged back up stairs to tell them again that it was past bedtime and it was time to go to sleep.  This time, Nevin said, "we were talking so we wouldn't be scared of the dark."  And his friend chimed in, too, slowly and wide-eyed, "Yes, Shawn.  There were shadows, and it turns out I'm not as fearless as I thought."

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

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