Category Archives: holidays

The 4th Annual Cousin’s Day

Once upon a time, one sister was blessed with the opportunity to provide childcare for the other sister. The first sister never needed to worry about her children and knew they were well-loved and cared for. The other sister, did not need to leave home in pursuit of another type of paid employment. Oh! The joy they shared 🙂

One sad day, the kids all moved on in different, big-kid, endeavors – like school and stuff and the magical time period ended. But, realizing that it was a very special and exceptional bond that makes people into cousins, there clearly needed a more official way to celebrate the sacred bond that they shared. The sisters deemed the former ‘Columbus Day’ (I never really like him anyway) ‘Cousin’s Day’ and so a tradition began.

Feel free to revisit The 1st Annual, and The 2nd Annual and The 3rd Annual editions of this recurring event. May I now present to you – views from The 4th Annual Cousin’s Day Celebration.

‘Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold
the cousins together.’

~ Woodrow Wilson

Ethan’s Birthday Post

My most popular blog posts are always about Ethan.

DSC00705 (1)Maybe it’s because his gigantic personality is crammed into his 4’11 & 3/4″ frame. Maybe it’s because Ethan goes big or goes home – in all the best and worst possible ways. Maybe it is because his brain works so unbelievably different than the rest of us and he gives us a tiny view into a different dimension – sometimes I think it could really be that.

DSC00739He is our resident ‘psuedo-hoarder’ (only because I won’t let him go any further) and the most frustrating DJ (he usually only plays 2/3 of a song) there is.

Ethan turns 19 today.

He is remarkable and I am honored to be his mother. I am glad that his story is being written right here next to me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sunday ‘Father’s Day’ Scenes

First, there was the Annual Father’s Day hockey game at Greenbrook Hockey Club.

DSC01484 DSC01489 DSC01504 (1) DSC01528 (1) DSC01535 (1)Then, there was this.


Hockey with Pop-pop


Cat Play


In which we find out Sean is afraid of heights 🙂


Rigging an easier way for the little kids

And then this happened.


3 Generations of Costello men – and a photo bomb from our little neighbor 🙂

Handful of Hearts

I love having a party – in my teeny, tiny house. It poses some challenges, like having to move furniture around multiple times until the space functions as it is needed and importing seating from family and friends. I like the cleaning and prepping and how everything looks right before everyone comes. I also like how everything looks right after they leave – ah, the glorious ‘wrecked-party-house’! One of my favorite, annual photos on New Year’s Eve could be entitled ‘Aftermath’. Nothing says ‘good time’ like sticky floors and confetti behind the toilet tank.

The boys and their friends asked for a poker party. Whatever you think about that, I thought the same thing. I don’t know how to play and was very uninterested in learning. Everyone gained a working knowledge of the game and the big game of the night was strangely intense. Thankfully, ‘poker teaching’ really fell to the dads and us moms were off the hook.

It was very fun combing the card game with Valentine’s Day – the ‘hearts’ theme really pulled the two together 😉 DSC09271 DSC09270 DSC09267 DSC09259 DSC09251 DSC09249Best decoration for the party – smiley kids and friends and family eating and drinking together.

Hands down.

My camera is on it’s last legs – please forgive me. Better photos coming soon!

Mikey’s Turn to Turn 11

Mikey came into our lives in the conventional way – via a blue Hyundai. Typical story, right?

When DYFS called us to see if we could take Mikey and his sister, I said “no”. I told them we weren’t ready. I told them that we already had 1 child with significant medical needs and Mikey’s seemed extensive. I told them it just wasn’t a good time. I told them I’d check with my husband.

Dennis told me that we should take them in immediately and who better could deal with Mikey’s issues than me. He said it would be fine. Oh. Okay.

I called back and said yes.

Mikey came to our house in a wet diaper, a football jersey 4 sizes too big and a pair of Nike Air Jordan’s. Half of his hair was a poofy, little afro and the other half was stringy, little braids. He was so enthralled with the prospect of the bathtub that he tried to get in with his tiny shoes on. He came complete with a garbage bag full of 14 medications and a firm ‘good luck’ from the caseworker.000_0007 000_0017 000_0020Mikey was 16 months old and could walk stairs, foot over foot, and catch a tiny bouncy ball repeatedly thrown against the wall. He ate twice his body weight in food, especially fruit and slept through the night. I’ll admit – some of the early years were a blur. It was joyful and precarious. The balance often tipped to the ‘overwhelmed’ side.

It was not a straight line from our first meeting to his adoption nearly 3 years later. Sometimes things got scary and difficult. Once and a while a relative would show up who felt they were capable of caring for Mikey. The thought of someone taking him from us was terrifying. We were told that he was ‘failure to thrive’. I hated those words. Mikey was small – so small. I wanted the doctors to acknowledge he was thriving though – eating, learning, and coming off medications one by one until there were NONE left. Failure to thrive – ha!

Foster care is such a bad situation. It is hard on everyone. It is not a ‘natural’ circumstance to be in. But on June 7, 2007, Mikey name officially changed to Michael Dennis Kenneth Costello. I actually did not revel too much in his adoption day. I woke up and thought, ‘let’s get this mess behind us so we can continue to just be a family.’ I wanted it to be OVER and to BEGIN all at the same time.

100_1034100_1703 100_1765Mikey has always been physically gifted – swimming like a fish at 2 and 3, riding a two-wheeled bike at nearly 4, running faster, jumping higher and skating faster than everyone else 🙂 Everyone is Mikey’s friend and he sees a friend in everyone, he is generous and would give you his last piece of Halloween candy if you asked. When I see my 4 boys together, nothing makes more sense to me. DSC08010 (1)Mikey is simple in a very good way – he sees things just as they are in the moment that he is in. There is nothing else for him. I know I can learn from that – and I am glad that he is right here, in my house, in my life, and in my heart.