Monday, November 24, 2008

Top Ten: Readers' Favorite Posts from Our 2nd Year of Blogging

  1. The "Adoption Stuff" Post (...and the controversy it caused!)
  2. Top 10: K & O In Unsupervised Moments
  3. The Hypothetical Game (boys in tutus)
  4. Happy New Year! (Heather's Pregnant!) and then, in May, finally... Meera Grace is Born! Birth Stories... by Heather, by Braydon, by MorMor, by MorFar
  5. K & O become Big Brothers— especially: Pinky and Thumb and "We're Your Big Brothers!" and Kyle's relationship with Meera and Owen's relationship with Meera
  6. Quotes from K & O— for example, this post and this post
  7. Braydon’s Videos (see sidebar) & Braydon's Posts— especially: "Steel Gossamer" and "Home Coming" and "Forest of Kitchens"
  8. J-M Trips and Travels— vaca's from this year of blogging include Arizona in Nov; NH in Dec; Sand Key Florida in Feb; Baltimore in April; PA Haiti Reunion 2008 in July; NH in Aug; Meera's CT Baptism in Oct (note: photos from our trips are always posted in multiple posts immediately following the Trip Post)
  9. Baracko!!!!
  10. French Kissing in the Grocery Store

(To see all of the favorite posts mentioned click on 'comments' from this post)

Thanks for reading y'all! Cheers to another fun year of blogging!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


We've been blogging for 2 Years!!!

(Actually we've been blogging for 2 years + 1 month. But October was just too tough for our family and I didn't feel like 'celebrating' on the actual Blogiversary -- October 11). Last year, on our first Blogiversary we got our readers to tell us some of their favorite blog posts from that year (click here). Then we compiled a Top Ten List of Our Readers' Favorite Blog Posts (click here).

This year we're doing the same thing. But this year I really hope that if you have read this blog at all in the past year that you'll be nice and play along! I've posted almost every day, and you get to read it. It is only fair that you come out of the blogosphere to chime in!!! So, come on now, don't flake out. Just do it. Some of you may only read every once in a great while, some of you read daily, no matter how much you read--- now it is your turn. Please play with us!!!
So tell us: What was your favorite post from the past year?
Anything from October 2007-November 2008 is fair game.
We're going to be taking a blog break, so you have a full week to take a look-see through the past year's worth of our blog. Please share your favorites by posting your comment here! We'll publish all of the comments and compile the Top Ten List on Friday, November 21!
Happy Blogiversary!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Three Big Accomplishments In The Past Week!

These three things are things that these three have each individually been working hard on for the past few months. Somehow, just in the past week, something clicked for each one of them. Resulting in three big accomplishments in the past week!




2008 Lantern Walk

The boys' Waldorf School has a lot of events and festivals throughout the year. My absolute favorite is the Lantern Walk that happens one evening in the fall. It is such a beautiful, beautiful night. Click here for Braydon's post about last year's Lantern Walk. This year we are not going to be able to make it to the Lantern Walk and we're all really sad about that. Yesterday after school I made lanterns with Kyle and Owen. After dinner the four of us (Meera was sound asleep in her crib) did our own Lantern Walk outside around our house. It was a crisp November night, very dark, with an almost-full moon. Walking outside in the dark is so powerful and magical for young children -- especially carrying a lantern with a real candle in it. K & O carried the lanterns we had made earlier in the day (calling them their "4 Year Old Lanterns"), and Braydon and I carried their lanterns from last year's Lantern Walk (their "3 Year Old Lanterns"). It wasn't as full-of-wonder as it would have been if we could have made it to the school Lantern Walk, but it was really special and wonder-full nevertheless.

"Which One Is Older?"

photo from June 2006

Juli commented on a post from earlier this week asking if we get asked a lot about who is "older"- K or O. I am so surprised that I've never blogged about this, but I have looked back through the blog a bit and I really don't think that I ever have written about it!!! The reason I'm surprised I haven't blogged about it yet is because it is on my mind so often, because... just about every time we're out and about in public I get asked this question. Having twins is like walking around with a PEOPLE MAGNET. (at least it is for us.) It doesn't help that 1) we're such an 'interesting' looking --i.e., mixed race -black&white-- family, and 2) K & O are --if I do say so myself-- so gorgeous. Plus, K & O are so extremely extroverted and social (to the nth degree) and approachable that they make it way too easy for people to approach in pretty much any/all circumstances. Just about always people will first say, "Are they twins??" and then they'll respond with, "Which one is older???" We have always explained what 'twins' are to K & O by saying something along the lines of, "Twins are two babies who grow together in a woman's belly and are born together." This all makes more and more sense to them the older they get. They 'get it.' Truthfully, I really hate the question 'Which one is older?' I hate it because I don't like the way people read into it what they do. People always say stuff to us like, "Well, you know, with twins whoever was born first is the bigger one." And, "The older twin is the more dominant one." And, "The younger twin is usually weaker." Etc., etc., etc. I personally think the whole notion of giving any kind of deep meaning to which one came out first is totally unfounded and bizarre. When people ask about which one is older I always say, "We don't know." The honest to goodness truth is that we do not know which baby came out first. And we will never know. From my perspective, that is a gift. I love it that we truly don't know who came out first. Recently, now that the boys are getting older, people are starting to direct their questions directly to them instead of to me. They get asked all the time, "Are you guys twins??"... "Which one of you is older???" To, "Are you guys twins?" they quickly and enthusiastically reply, "YES! We ARE twins!" And when the follow-up question comes (which it so often does) --"Which one of you is older?"-- Kyle and Owen just sort of look back at the person with a blank dumbfounded look and then continue forward with whatever it was they were up to. At that point I usually quickly answer for them, "We don't know!" and then run off, chasing after them as usual.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

During Dinner Last Night

Kyle's "Green Bean H's for Mommy"

Owen's Pomegranate

Feeding Meera

These pictures are from Sunday morning breakfast-- the boys trying to feed Meera--
She knows what's up (she sees Kyle holding the spoon) and she's just not sure what to think of it...

O.k., she's decided what she thinks of it: She's not a fan of this. Not at all. 'Give the spoon back to someone who knows what they're doing! And quick!' ...

Owen takes a turn. This isn't exactly what she was hoping for. 'Have mercy on me!'

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ringing Rocks

M & K

Meera and Kyle have their own brother-sister bond. Their relationship is totally different than the relationship between Owen and Meera. Kyle does not like to hold Meera very often -- he never has -- he's too afraid he'll hurt her. But he has a special way of connecting with Meera that is all his own. While Owen connects with Meera so physically, Kyle connects with her verbally and emotionally. He tells her stories and "reads" her books. Since he has most books memorized, word-for-word, his "reading" to Meera is actually exactly as if he really were reading to her since he's reciting the pages perfectly almost all the time. In the photo above he's "reading" her The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein... Kyle's current favorite book. My favorite Kyle-Meera thing, though, is this: At random times throughout the day Kyle will take a quick break, from whatever it is he's doing, to run up to Meera, wherever she is. And in the briefest of a moment, he'll quickly nuzzle his face very close to hers, squint his eyes very tight, and he'll whisper to her. There are only two things he says and he fluctuates between them; he whispers the same two things to her each and every time. This has been going on for several weeks now. I don't know why he says these things, or how exactly he came to fixate on these two little whispers from him to her. Sometimes he says, "Rumpelstiltskin!" The other times he says, "Magic in the treetops!" And then, just as quickly as he stopped to whisper to his sister, he's off and running back to whatever it was he was doing. And Meera is left with a halfway-wondering-and-halfway-adoring smile on her face and a huge glittery sparkle in her eye.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

M & O

Meera is teething. She cut her first tooth about a week ago. Over the past couple of days the second tooth has popped through. Two bottom teeth for our little sweet baby. I hate to see the teeth poking through, I hate to feel them breaking through her gum, because I just hate to have to see her grow up. Why can't she stay my tiny baby forever??? Why? Why? Why? Oh, she is pure sweetness and, oh, how I wish she'd never be more than 5 months old. Ba ha waaaa. Anyhoo... enough about that. The poor baby is teething. And if she can get her hands on it, it is in her mouth rubbing up against her sore little gums. It really does seem like teething toys were made for this girl. As though they were invented for her. Adding insult to injury, she's also been struggling this past week with Daylight Savings Time. We switched the clocks back a solid week ago now, but still Little Miss still insists on going to bed at her old bedtime (6:00ish which is now 5:00ish). She's kind of cramping our style in terms of Family Dinner. Really, who goes to bed for the night at 5:00???? But what can we say? This is a girl who loves her sleep. Despite her teething and her excessive sleeping, she's a bundle of baby love. Gurgling, squealing, drooling, everything-in-the-mouth, cuddly-baby-bundle-of-love. Even as she's been cutting these two teeth and revolting against Daylight Savings, Little Miss Meera remains the happiest, most mellow, most happy-go-lucky baby I've ever encountered. For real. What I really want to post about, though, is the special bond that is in full swing right now between Meera and Owen. This is a girl who loves her Owen almost as much as she loves her sleep and her teething toys. She loves Kyle too, don't get me wrong. But there's something special right now between M & O. Owen spends a lot of time holding Meera. He asks to hold her multiple times a day. And when he holds her he'll sit and cuddle with her for long extended periods (that is, long for an active 4-year-old boy). They hang out together a lot. And that is what it is with them --- they hang out. They just hang out together in a way that I have to think must be unusual for a 4.5 year old and a 5 month old. They are pretty interesting to watch. Oh, and there is no one-- no one-- who can make Meera laugh like Owen can.

Kavya's Birthday Party

Today the boys and Braydon went to Kavya's Birthday Party at J.W. Tumbles. According to K & O it was "great!" (K) and "perfect!" (O). Unfortunately I had to stay home with Little Miss M, who needed to not miss her afternoon nap today.

Haiti Stuff for the Under 5 Set

Nikki left a comment on the post below asking for tips for fun Haiti-related stuff for young kids.
My favorite is a Haiti Coloring Book called Bel Peyi Mwen: A Children's Coloring Book of Haiti.
Click here for the link

There are some good children's books out there that pay tribute to Haiti. I have found, however, that they aren't generally geared to very young children. And the truth is that the ones we have are still sitting on the upper shelf waiting for when K & O are a bit older. We have a great book that they love, though, that is not focused on Haiti per se, but is still terrific for Haitian kids. It is Caribbean Dream by Rachel Isadora. Awesome illustrations!
Click here for the amazon link

Another great tip from us to you is Haitian musical instruments, art (paintings, crafts, etc.), and jewelry. Some of this can be great for young kids. We have a bunch of instruments from Haiti that K & O love. And they like to look at jewelry, etc. that we have from Haiti. And we have art/crafts from Haiti on the walls and shelves all over our house. Look for places online that sell Haitian-made stuff. Just start googling and searching and you'll eventually start finding things. One site I love is "Konny's Korner" --
Click here for the link

Let us know if you find great Haitian stuff for young kids too!!! :) HBJ

Saturday, November 08, 2008


I put 'cleaning' in "QUOTES" because the cleaning (not in quotes) required to clean up their "cleaning" is a lot more cleaning than the "cleaning" itself. But man, do they love "cleaning"! Leave 'em alone unoccupied for a few minutes and next thing you know they're "cleaning" -- they've gotten themselves into the Cleaning Closet in the laundry room... and all *heck* has broken loose! "Cleaning" "cleaning" craze craze craze. A tornado-like frenzy of frenetic "cleaning"-spraying-squirting-swooshing-mopping-scrubbing-"cleaning." Usually it starts in the bathroom and then gradually moves into the kitchen. "Real men clean boys! Real men clean!" I cheer, as I dart back and forth re-directing a spray nozzle here (so it doesn't go straight into an eye) and re-positioning a mop there (so it doesn't slam-dent the baseboard). If it is left to go on long enough they'll move through the whole house, with me gently guiding them (until I lose my patience and it turns into not-so-gentle-guidance at which point the fun of it usually ceases for them pretty quickly and they run off to other things leaving me in peace to clean up the "clean up.") I've been trying to roll with it, though, calling up all the patience I have within me, and just grinning-and-bearing the follow-up cleaning required, because I figure that what I'm going through now is well worth it for the THANKS AND PRAISE I'll be receiving someday down the road from their future life-partners. I imagine it now: proud me, as a sixty-something-year-old, my cup runneth over with gratitude from my lovely daughters-or-sons-in-laws (I just have to believe --or else I'll cry-- that we'll have legalized marriage for all consenting adult partners by then). Anyway, I can deal with delayed gratification. Oh, yes I can. They'll be thanking me someday for these modern men. And I'm putting it out there to the universe now: whoever you are, you out there, you who will be my boys' life-partners someday.... YOU OWE ME BIG TIME FOR THIS!!!!!!! BIG TIME!!!! ;)

Photo of the Day

Friday, November 07, 2008


Owen and Kyle love mazes. Owen was really the first to start this love-affair, but Kyle quickly caught on to it too. And now they are equally enamored. They've been loving doing mazes for about a year now. They've gone through many books of mazes-- some simple and some more complex. We are currently in a phase where the boys do mazes almost every morning before school. My mind sometimes wanders while I'm watching them do mazes. The symbolism of mazes-- as an analogy to life-- captures my thinking and I find myself pondering where we've been, and wondering where we're going.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Turning the page

Be sure to click the full screen button to get the full effect!

Turning the page from Braydon Johnson-McCormick on Vimeo.

Photo of the Day: Prunes!

Meera had pureed prunes for the first time last night. She loved it!
(as always, click on photo to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


the J-M 3 this morning,
watching a re-run of Obama's historic victory speech in Grant Park last night
The boys slept together last night in Owen's bed. They were sleeping soundly in there as Braydon and I watched the television, astounded and teary, as Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election fair and square. My thoughts were all over the map, but kept coming back to my boys. Words cannot describe what it means to a black boy's mother as we watch this unfold. The significance that Barack Obama's mother was white is also not lost on us here in the J-M household. After nursing Meera around 2:30am, I checked in on my boys. They were both lying on their backs, fully outstretched, with their arms wrapped around each other's. I stared and tried to pour the message into their little minds through the universe in the night: 'He won my babies, he won. You will wake up to a new day.' This morning Kyle was quick to ask, "Who winned Papi?! Who winned?!" 'Guess what guys?!!! Barack Obama is our president!! PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!" They (Kyle especially) literally jumped for joy. They were concerned about McCain. They were worried he was sad. We talked about what it means to win --and lose-- fair and square. And what it means to concede. Then they ran to tell Meera, just waking up in her crib. "BarackO winned Meera! He winned as president!!!" We turned on the t.v. in the kitchen for the second day in a row. This time to watch BarackO as President Elect, and to get glimpses of the next First Lady and two little girls with "beautiful brown skin just like us." These images are so powerful. To say that this is profound is an understatement. At three different moments this morning I held each of my children in my arms and whispered to them, for the first time ever, what I now actually do believe to be true: "My baby, you can be anything. The sky's the limit now. You can be anything you want to be." The barrier has been broken. It is not all peaches and cream. There is struggle to come. There is a long road ahead. But we have turned a corner. Today is a new day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Our voting place is within walking distance of our house, so we all strolled down there this afternoon to cast our votes for BarackO. Kyle voted with me in one booth and Owen voted with Braydon in another booth (while Meera kept watch to make sure nobody was peeking-- see photo below!). They had a "Kids Voting USA" station set up next door. It was a great thing. So, K & O got to officially vote for BarackO themselves--- which was way cool. A good time was had by all (including all the lookers-on... we were quite a scene). NBC news just called Pennsylvania for Obama, and just like everyone else in the world Braydon and I will be glued to the t.v. all night long waiting to see how this turns out.

Election 2008

Growing up my parents had a big burlap banner that hung on the wall of the cottage we lived in all summer at the camp my parents ran. The banner said, "Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future." I can't look at the three photos below (taken this morning) without thinking of that banner.

The boys are sporting their "BarackO" shirts today and have a pretty decent grasp of the basics of a big presidential election. Here's what they know: a) the president is the "boss of the whole country," b) the country we live in is the United States of America, c) we elect our presidents here by voting, d) voting means you choose which person you want to be president, e) voting is important, f) not every country designates their leaders this way, g) here in the U.S. people 18 and older can vote [they are --understandably so-- very perturbed that children can't vote], h) today we are choosing between Barack Obama and John McCain, i) our family wants BarackO, j) it is very exciting and Mommy and Papi are all revved up about it. If only it were all that simple. There's a lot more for them to learn in the years to come... obviously. The magnitude of this historic moment in our country's past-present-future is pretty much lost on them. But I hope that someday they'll 'get it.' In the meantime, they are pretty pumped up about the parts of it they do 'get.' And they know 'it' must be huge because we actually turned the t.v. on this morning and had the news on while we got ready for breakfast (the t.v. is basically never on while the boys are awake). Later today we'll be bringing them with us to vote so that: a) they can see it in action, and b) so that we can always tell them that they came with us to vote in that monumental election when --*HOPE*FULL*Y*-- BarackO became president and a corner was turned in our nation's history. BARACK THE VOTE PEOPLE! OBAMA FOR CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the J-M 3 watching the election coverage closely