Conversations with Lucas, Part 3


Having a four year old means that we spend a lot of time hiding smiles and laughs. I’m actually pretty terrible at hiding them (and Jaime is too). Thankfully, Lucas doesn’t get upset when we laugh at the adorable things he says. I hope it stays that way, because I remember distinctly how offended I was when my parents or sisters would laugh at me when I was around his age. Hearing that I was cute didn’t pacify me. As the youngest of six girls, I just wanted to be taken seriously. Lucas is more of a ham then I was, though, and he enjoys getting a laugh out of us, even if he’s not sure what’s funny.

Here are a few recent conversations that have gotten a smile or a laugh:

L: Mommy, some bees like wood.

B: Oh really? Did you learn about that at school? [They’ve been studying insects.]

L: What?!?!! No!!!  There’s no learning at my school!!


L: Mommy, come see my farm! Do you want to play with me?

B: Sure!

L:  Okay. Well, the chickens have been fed, the horses have been hayed, the dogs have been petted, the sheep have been wooled, the cows have been milked, and the silo has been filled to the top with corn.  I did all that because I’m Farmer Lucas.

B: Okay, what do I do?

L: Nothing, you’re the wife.


L: Mommy, how many grapes did you give me?

B: I gave you ten grapes.

L: When I eat one I’ll have nine!  Then eight, then seven, then six, then five….

B: Then four, three, two, one, then zero!

L: “Blast off” comes after one Mommy, not zero.


L: Mommy, I’m bladdish.

B: Bladdish?  What’s bladdish?

L: It’s a feeling. It’s a mad kind of jealous.


L: Look Mommy, I’m drawing the earth!

B: That looks great!

L: Now I’m drawing heaven.  Where Jesus is, and God. And the kingdom. And the Lord.


B: Hey Sweetheart, what are you playing?

L: I’m a rocket ship!  I take people to Chicago, to the ocean, and to IKEA.


L: Mommy, Daddy’s name is Jaime but I don’t call him that. I just call him two things.

B: Dad and Daddy?

L: No, Daddy and Bearsie.


L: Mommy, I love farms.

B: I know you do, Baby.

L: Cows give us milk, sheep give us wool, chickens give us eggs, goats give us cheese, ducks give us feathers, geese give us…[thinks for a minute]…poop. And horses give us beans.

L:  Mommy, why are you laughing?



So many good vibes from this boy 🙂 



The Chilliest Great Strides Walk of All Time


I don’t know that for certain but I do know it was 36 degrees this morning when I woke up and not a whole lot warmer by the time we all met up for the Great Strides fundraising walk today. Come on people, it’s May for crying out loud!

Overall though, it was a great success! We had about 30 team members who braved the chilly weather to walk with Betsy and our team managed to raise over $4000 for cystic fibrosis research.


(Most of) Our Great Strides Team!

We are very thankful for all of our friends and family who participated in one way or another. We are thankful for tangible expressions of solidarity and support. And we are thankful for the ongoing research that is working to develop new treatments for people with cystic fibrosis and hopefully, one day, a cure.


Betsy, Lucas, and I rocking our pink #Breathe4Betsy headbands!

The Great Strides campaign is now done for 2016 but you can support cystic fibrosis research any time at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website!

Thanks again to everyone for their love and support!

Try, Try, Try, Try, Try it Again


Well, it’s that time again!  I’m off my latest round of antibiotics, feeling mostly better, and I am ready to start working on my fitness.  Did I say ready? Perhaps that’s a stretch. It’s more like I’m to the point where I have no valid excuses to further avoid it. Welcome back Operation Lace Up.

I started testing the waters about a week ago to see where I was at strength-wise. The first day I told myself I’d only go one mile, and alternated walking and jogging every quarter-mile.  That went pretty well. I was able to walk at a 15-minute mile pace and jog at a 12.5-minute mile pace. The next day the sorest part of my body was actually my arms because a few times I leaned pretty heavily on the treadmill handles.  I’m pretty sure that’s cheating but sometimes I have to do it to get through a run!

Later that week I was able to use the same alternating pace to walk/run 1.5 miles.  Then yesterday evening I headed outside for a jog. Mentally, running outside is easier for me. There’s pleasant things to look at and the time passes much more quickly. There are a few challenges, however, such as airborne allergens, hills, and having to talk to people as you pass them. I’m sure it sounds rude to categorize that as a problem, but when your lung function is somewhere around 40%, you don’t have extra breath for conversation during exercise. Sorry neighbors!

When I began, I figured I would try to run a bit longer than the quarter-mile, maybe up to a half-mile. I started to feel stubborn once I got going, however, and decided just to run the whole thing. I managed to get through, but it wasn’t pretty. It felt awful, but I got through the 1.5 miles at a 14-minute mile pace. I should have been proud of myself, but honestly, I was a little upset initially.  It was so hard, and having just come off antibiotics, my lungs are less congested than usual. I was hoping it would feel better than it did. But then I realized I have plenty of things to be happy about.

First, I’m not all the way back to square one in spite of multiple setbacks this winter. After my first bad illness last winter the best I could do at first was walk at 17-minute mile pace.  I’m glad I’m not there. I don’t even think I’m going to need the Couch to 5K program this year. I’ll just build on that 1.5 mile run, slow though it was. Second, I have a new pair of shoes. And I got them for free!  I’m part of a Facebook exercise group for CF women and there I heard about a program through the Rock CF Foundation called Rock CF Kicks Back, where you can apply for a free pair of running shoes to get you started with exercise.  I applied and they sent me an awesome pair of shoes! Thanks guys!

Third, I have my Fitbit this year and that’s motivating. It’ll be fun to see how many miles and steps I can rack up this summer. And fourth, I won’t be doing it alone since Jaime is reinstituting his One for One pledge.  It’s always easier when you’re doing something unpleasant together 😉 Lastly, as I was brooding over my difficult run, I remembered an incident that happened just a few weeks ago. We had just bought Lucas a little orange balance bike. He was so excited!


Pleased as punch.

One afternoon, I went on a walk with him so he could practice riding it. He’s not generally super persistent when something is challenging, but he’s been trying really hard with this bike. As he was pushing himself along the other day, trying to get the hang of it, he started singing. The songs were from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood which has been a recent favorite cartoon. First he sang, “If something seems hard to do, try it a little bit at a time. Try, try, try, try, try it again…keep trying you’ll get better! Try, try try.” Then he transitioned into, “It helps to say what you’re feeling.”


Singing his little heart out.

It was adorable, and encouraging to see him applying those lessons to his situation. It’s what I need to do too, keep trying and remember that it will get better, even though it feels impossible at the beginning. How am I feeling? A little frustrated, but I don’t need to be back to my optimal fitness level tomorrow.  This is hard to do, but I can do it a little bit at a time. Thanks for the helpful reminders, Lucas.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress!  Maybe by my birthday at the end of June, I’ll be back to running two miles in 25 minutes. That’s my current goal, but it’s subject to modification depending on how things go.

Well, I’m off to lace up my new shoes. I can do this! It’s going to get easier 🙂

Rhinoey to the Rescue


Lucas isn’t the world’s best sleeper. Even the very first night of his life, when he was teeny tiny and should have been tremendously sleepy, he would cry the moment we set him down. Our sleep struggles continued, so much so that I only remember glimpses of the first months of his life. He woke up every two or three hours for his first five months and I seriously thought I was going to die. He would only sleep in a few places: our arms, his bouncy seat, or next to us in bed.

As he got older, we were able to work out various sleeping scenarios that although unconventional, ensured that all three of us got the sleep we needed. And up until a few weeks ago, that still included laying down with Lucas until he fell asleep at night. He has been a cuddler since birth.

Ventura Family-52

Our sweet snuggler.

The other weekend, Jaime took Lucas to the zoo. There was a new penguin exhibit at a zoo near us, and Lucas had never been there, so they decided to try that one out. In a stroke of marketing genius, you practically have to walk through the gift shop to exit the zoo. Naturally, Lucas wanted to go in, and almost immediately he saw a stuffed rhino he was pretty sure he couldn’t live without.

Jaime did a little quick thinking and decided if he was going to buy an overpriced stuffed rhinoceros, he would try to make it work in our favor. He told Lucas that probably, if he had a stuffed rhino that nice and cuddly, he would be able to get to sleep snuggling it instead of one of us.  And then he held his breath…

Lucas thought for a moment, and then agreed!  He said he was a big boy now and he would be okay getting to sleep with Rhinoey. Since the rhino already had a name and a purpose, Jaime went ahead and bought it. And wouldn’t you know, that night, we tucked Lucas in with Rhinoey, turned on his night-light, kissed him goodnight, and left the room. Just like that. After four and a half years of nighttime shenanigans, Lucas is putting himself to sleep.

It still seems surreal sometimes! I don’t regret the many hours we’ve spent helping him fall asleep.  There were times when we felt frustrated and impatient, but overall we’ve enjoyed the closeness and were willing and able to give him that gift until he was ready to do it on his own. It takes some kids a bit longer than others, and that was okay with us.

I’m proud of Jaime for realizing Lucas was ready to make this transition, and I’m proud of Lucas for making it! We hardly know what to do with our newfound freedom. But no worries, we’ll figure something out.


Lucas and Rhinoey