Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I've got growth on the mind today. It was Emma's last day of preschool. Of course, the moms were all sobbing and the kids were pinging off the wall, excited about Kindergarten. I made a card for her teachers with pictures from the first and last day of school, last year and this. She has gone from the tiniest kid in school to one of the leaders of the pack. Again, amazing. Tomorrow I sign her up for kindergarten. One of my friends will be watching George so that Emma and I can have some time together. She won't understand the significance (just like she couldn't understand why tears were leaking out from under my sunglasses as we drove away from school today), but I do. My first born is starting to leave the nest. I know I've got many years to go, but I have to start now. It will take me that long to get used to the idea. Who am I kidding? Like I'll get used to it! Yeah, right.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Now don't get excited, my house is not big. We decided that we really didn't need a formal dining room so we converted it into a playroom. Because, you know, my children eating their meals over carpet is SUCH a great idea! The size of the room is okay, but since it opens off the living room and is in direct sight of the front door, I had to be creative in my arrangement of furniture and toys. I really didn't want guests to walk in and immediately see overflowing toy bins or the mountain of clutter that is (normally) my desk. So both those things are stuck in corners and the only thing visible from the other room is our ugly old loveseat. I can deal with that.
Well, that was a whole bunch of ramble. If you've made it this far, thanks for sticking with me! I'll try to be more poetic tomorrow. The prompt for Wednesday is a great one!
Monday, May 29, 2006
Great summer fun! Why did I resist?
Let me just tell you one thing. That picture is highly misleading. Those kids must have been shrunk in the dryer or something because when you put those side pieces onto the pool, there is maybe one foot between them. The kids loved it though.
I don't have any pictures yet of the real thing, I was too busy keeping slippery children from falling off the side of the stairs/slides to take pictures. But they know what they're doing now, so I'll get some this afternoon. Remind me not to go to Target again anytime soon, I can't afford it!
to all of you. Something I would like you to join
me in doing on May 29, 2006, Memorial Day.
At 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, Major League Baseball
games will stop, Amtrak train whistles will blast,
and thousands of Americans will pause for the
Memorial Day National Moment of
Nascar, military installations, veterans service
organizations, schools, universities, hospitals,'
national parks, airports, bus lines, and the
International Space Station will also join in.
What I am asking you is, wherever you are
or whatever you are doing at 3 p.m E.T., PLEASE
join in this nationwide moment of reflection.
A great man once said:
"And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what
your country can do for you;
ask what you can do for your country."
Please pass this on to all the people
on your mailing lists so they will know
what is going on also.
It's time for us to stand together and show
our support for our Military now and for
those who Died fighting for the freedoms
we all enjoy today. It's time to be
My Thanks to all of you.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Then she asked me, "Who decides what's beautiful?"
Um, how do I answer that? We talked for a while about how everyone has to decide for themselves what is beautiful to them. And we looked through her art binder and she asked me if all her pictures were beautiful. And I answered "no".
Yeah, I'm a horrible mother. But we kept flipping through the pages and I stopped on all the ones that were just scribbles. I asked her if she thought they were beautiful. After a while, she really started studying them and deciding for herself if they were beautiful. She would talk about the colors and how she liked them, but how she liked the pictures of people, and flowers, and houses, and animals more.
So what's more important, creating for the sake of beauty, or just creating for the sake of creation? Emma and I decided that sometimes it's fun just to scribble with pretty colors because she enjoys doing it, even if the results aren't beautiful. And I told her that I thought she was beautiful anytime she uses her imagination and is enjoying what she's doing. And I'll keep anything she scribbles!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I didn't get woken up by any phone calls last night, so I'm assuming Jason made it to Denmark and he's currently sleeping off jet lag. Hopefully he'll call later today and send pictures of our new nephew.
The first thing Emma said to me this morning was that she missed Daddy, but then she brightened up and said, "You know what we can do, Mommy? We can have a party when he gets home!" That's my party girl! Any excuse for cake and balloons! Not that I'm going to deny her those things. (I didn't deny her a trip to the store last night to get ice cream either. Shhhh. That will be our little secret, okay?)
So, thank you to my blog pals for virtual hugs and comments that made me laugh (Zephanee, I like the way you think!), I plan on keeping busy, doing the minimum amount of cooking necessary to keep us alive, and reading in bed till all hours of the night without worrying that the light is bothering anyone. Oh, and sleeping in the middle of the bed!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Me, not so much. Oh well. Please don't judge the attached scrapbook page too harshly, it was made years ago when I was attempting the whole paper scrapbook thing. I quickly discovered I can't cut a straight line, and HATED cutting up photos. This is one of maybe six pages I ever completed. But I have tears in my eyes in most of three of those photos, and not much has changed in that department.
Saying good-bye sucks.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
When I was little, there were cats. One, a fluffy white and grey sweet kitty named Ladybug. The other, a fluffy white and orange not-so-sweet kitty named Fireball. Fireball was a bit schizophrenic. One minute he would be laying upside down on your lap, allowing you the priveledge of scratching his belly, and then he would let you know he was done by ever so gently reaching up and scratching your face off. Or he would be curled up in a ball in his favorite sleeping spot on the stairs. It was always risky going up and down the stairs when he was there. Sometimes you could go around or over him and he wouldn't so much as twitch a whisker. Then there were the times you would quietly step around him and suddenly realize your ankle was bleeding. You just never knew with him. But I liked Fireball, he had character.
Later we had a dog, Biscuit. She was the cutest, sweetest, and dumbest Golden Retriever ever. And she had a talent for slobber. Good for curling up with though.
Jason's family always had dogs. When I met him, they had Warf. Warf was insane. But, in his defense, he was raised in a house with two teenage boys and their friends. He had no choice. Many people have said they would like to be reincarnated as a pet in that household though. Those dogs are absolutely members of the family, and spoiled as such.
I believe that, whenever possible, kids should be raised with pets. It teaches them to be gentle, and responsible, and love with no expectations or qualifications. I'm glad I've always had them around.
Monday, May 22, 2006
My great aunt's perfume. I have no idea what it was, but it's one of my earliest smell-memories and I can just feel her wrap her arms around me thinking about it.
Wet pine needles and a closed up musty smell. My grandparents' cabin in the woods on a lake. Some of my best memories are there, and even though we don't have access to the cabin anymore, just driving those roads sends me reeling back in time.
Freshly cut grass, warm in the sun. Still love that one.
Hot lights. Instantly I'm backstage in the make-up room of my high school theatre.
Hot dry dirt. Strange, isn't it? That one puts me on a working ranch where I attended summer camp.
Man, I thought this list would be hard to do, but I think I could go on forever! My favorite smell now is absolutely, 100% Johnson's & Johnson's Baby Shampoo wafting from superfine hair on the head of a little, damp baby. Okay, toddler. Okay, little kid who still uses baby shampoo because he cries bloody murder when I dare to try to clean his head! Love that smell the most.
Off the subject: George said "thank you" today! Well, he said "an ou", but I knew what he meant, he said it several times in the correct context, and I'll take what I can get!
Completely off the subject: Is it sad that one of the highlights of my day involves new and improved shopping carts at Target?
Sunday, May 21, 2006
I am REALLY torn about my vacation plans this year. (And when I say "my" I mean me and my kids, I don't get to go gallivanting around the globe kid free. Oh, whoops, there goes that jealousy thing again. Sorry 'bout that!) I want to go home to Oregon again this year and just relax with family and friends in the nice not-too-hot Pacific NW summer. But with kindergarten orientation and a couple of other impediments, we would only have about three weeks. And air travel with George is not easy, so is it worth the hassle for only three weeks?
Plus, I'm trying to do the responsible adult thing and save money. We'll be moving somewhere in the Oregon/Washington area next year. So we have moving and travel costs to save for. And we'll need to recarpet the house before we can sell it. (Don't blame us, it should have been recarpeted before we bought it, but with little kids that spill lots of juice, we decided not to worry about the wrinkles and wear.) And I would love to make a road trip or two this summer to visit some friends on this side of the country before we move away. Grrrr. This list is longer than the pro-vacation list. But that list pulls at me more.
What to do? I'll keep you posted.
|Who Should Paint You: Pablo Picasso|
Your an expressive soul who shows many emotions, with many subtleties
Only a master painter could represent your glorious contradictions
Snort!! Gee, I'm so excited by this. Always wanted my body parts moved around. I think I'll stick to photographs.
Hey Jason? It says my contradictions are glorious! Are you seeing this? Glorious! So it's okay that I change my mind occasionally... or more. Glorious!
Friday, May 19, 2006
I miss having a freedom my children may never know in this changed world. My friends and I would walk for miles, crossing streets, taking shortcuts through yards, just to get a Slurpee. Or just for the sake of walking free.
I miss being able to ride on a merry-go-round for EVER, without throwing up.
My son does something I remember loving. While swinging, he'll throw his head back with his eyes closed and just enjoy the movement, the breeze, and the sun on his face.
I miss teeter-totters. They're not nearly as fun when my partner weighs, ohhhhh, maybe a forth of my weight.
I don't miss sleepovers. They were stressful and I was always a mess the next day.
Remember making the walls of houses or cities out of pine needles? Just me? Well. It was fun and I could do it for hours.
Running. I could run and run and run. Lost my breath, but never got tired. Yeah, can't do that anymore.
Listening to the kids on the playground of the school next door, I remember how fun it was to just SCREAM!!!! And LAUGH at TOP VOLUME! And SCREAM some more! Why did we do that? It was fun.
I'm sure I could go on and on, but it's time for me to visit my blog pals and see what they miss!(note to self: update that list, I have almost 40 DSP blog pals now!)
In DSU 198, we will be exploring our homes to find creative inspiration in our decorating and style choices. We will take those inspirations and use them as the foundation for scrapbook pages. Through the homework assignments and chat sessions, I will help you make that transition from everyday items to fun layouts for your family. This is a short example of the process we will go through in creating those layouts.
The goal is to find inspiration in new places, so I went looking for a random object to use as my muse! And this is what I found: This is my daughter’s Bugga-Bugga, a craft project she did for Valentine’s Day. I love how cute it is, the shape, and my daughter’s silly attachment to it. Perfect inspiration!
I started by examining it’s shape and colors. The large circle with those squiggly antennae, along with the silly face and bow, are really very strong graphic elements. The adorable pink is perfect for a little girl and I knew I’d create a layout for my daughter with this. So I went looking for a kit and picture.
The framing element in Stacey Stehley’s Retro Pinks page kit isn’t a circle, but it offsets the strong circles in the background. I chose an old picture of my daughter that I had never known what to do with, and it fit perfectly with the silly mood that her Bugga-Bugga had inspired in me. I added the slightly wavy stitched ribbons and buttons to complete the inspiration shape.
Now that we have the basic shapes and mood, we just need to add the finishing touches.
I put the journaling on a tilted paper to maintain the casual, fun feeling; tucking it behind one of the ribbons to both “attach” it and give them purpose. The retro star element was placed on the frame in imitation of the Bugga-Bugga’s hair bow. The darker paper with a dividing ribbon ground the layout just as the dark table does in the original picture. Finally, I titled the picture and my page in a way that both references the inspiration piece and my own little Bugga-Bugga girl.
(To see the full version of this layout, click here: My Bugga Bugga)
Obviously, this is just a quick example of a silly item in my home. The class will delve much deeper into personal style choices, the way they influence how others view us, and how to use those sometimes unconscious choices in a new, fun, creative way! I hope you join us!
Thursday, May 18, 2006
The first one is an obvious choice: Mommy. It's what I wanted to be and what I have become. And nothing is as precious as hearing a child say it for the first time.
The second is dundant. What the heck is dundant, you ask? It is a reminder to me to relax and have fun. It is a word that Jason and I made up. We figure if redundant means "superfluous or repetitive", dundant ought to mean "the first of its kind or only one needed". See, you've never thought of that before, have you? You just had a dundant moment!
The third is fabulous. I don't use this word very often, but I've always loved how it sounds. That was Fabulous! Sing it loud! Doesn't it just make you smile?
The forth is home. This word has a lot of connotations for me. There is the literal house I live in. The feeling of belonging. A place that pulls me from across the country. My family that surrounds me. The place I, my husband, and my children return to each day and feel safe.
And the fifth? It is Wensday. Look at it carefully. Say it out loud. Yes, I spelled it the way I intended to. This word is a reminder to me of the importance of education. Because I live in an area where it doesn't seem to be that important. The following picture is one I created, but only because I didn't have my camera with me to capture the one I really passed today on the road.
It makes me sad that most people probably didn't give this sign a second glance. I did. And I'm keeping that word!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
So yeah, everyone who recommended The DaVinci Code to me said it was good and fast paced. They forgot to mention that I would stop blinking, breathing, and basically being aware of the world around me. So I stayed up too late. I felt fine the next morning and woke up with no problems. But after about an hour.....BOOM!!! My head exploded. Now, I'm used to migraines, they are not an unfrequent visitor to my head. But normally I can get rid of them fairly quickly with drugs. Not so yesterday. I overdosed liberally all day long and still it remained. Luckily the drugs did knock it down a couple of notches, so I could drive and function somewhat normally, but by the time the kids went to bed, I was DONE. Jason tucked me in at 8:00. WOW! It was still light out! Thankfully, I felt it fade after laying in the dark silence for 45 minutes or so and I slept.
But today I'm drained. Which brings me to today's prompt, "comfort food". I'm not feeling like doing much in the way of cooking today, and I didn't get to the store anyway, so I'm wanting something simple. My family can attest to the fact that I've pretty much eaten my way through all of the Western states (and a few of the Eastern/Southern ones and even European countries) by ordering a grilled cheese sandwich at every restaurant I encounter. Is there a more perfect food? The best are at my favorite dive diner in Oregon (the waitresses have been there since the pavement was poured, their voices are the requisite smoke-induced gravel, and their bee-hive hair-do's almost reach the ceiling), Deb's Diner. There, my favorite gooey sandwich is accompanied by greasy curly fries and an old fashioned milk-shake. Oh yum!
Since Deb's is too far away, I think tonight we'll be having Jason's favorite comfort food, tuna casserole. Not as exciting, but slightly better for you and certainly easy to make. Ya gotta love a man with simple tastes!
Monday, May 15, 2006
I admit I don't pay much attention to most holidays other than the biggies. But gosh, Mother's Day rocks!! Jason actually set his alarm and got up early to take care of the kids so I could sleep in! Love that! I woke up at 8:00, but stayed in bed reading until almost 9:00. Ahhhh, it's been a while since I've been able to do that. When I finally emerged, coffee and cinnamon rolls were waiting for me. And guess what Jason, errr, I mean my kids got me!
So now, I'm almost as cool as my kids! I think this is the last year with Jason picking out my present though (although Emma did choose the color). We found out at bedtime that Emma was upset because she didn't have a necklace to give me. Apparently that's a gift she associates with Mother's Day. I made sure to make a big deal about wearing these today and she was excited to show them to her teachers, lol!
The rest of the day was spent very quietly. We didn't go anywhere and the weather was lousy, so we just watched videos, read books, and played with sidewalk chalk in the garage. Then I got my weekly "purge" with an hour's worth of crying during Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Do you watch that show? I'm addicted. And it makes me cry every week. But it sure puts my difficulties in perspective!
Now another week has begun and we're starting to make summer plans! I just signed Emma up for two sessions of swim lessons. $100 total, eek! Let's hope we can find some cheap things to do!
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Then again, in my pre-kid days, I had to go to work. And as nice as those weekends were, I was never real excited about getting up early, dressing in business attire, dealing with adults that acted like children, and still having to come home and cook and clean. So, it's a trade off, I know. I get to sleep later now, dress however I want, deal with children acting like children, and cook and clean at my own convenience. Plus I get hugs. Not too much of that going on in corporate America.
Maybe when the kids are older we'll get some of that spontaneity back. And then I'll probably miss having little kids around! The grass is always greener, right?
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
"What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise." - Oscar Wilde
I know that Jason and I worry a lot about George and we fuss about his lack of speaking and other slowly developing skills, but really I am lucky in some ways. I still have a baby. He still depends on me in ways a "normal" 2 1/2 year old might not. He may scream and flail at times, but we don't argue and I don't have to explain every action. He still cuddles and wants to be carried. He comes to me, takes my hand, and walks me to the things he wants or places he wants to go. And while I don't love changing diapers, we have some great silly moments during those times. He still holds his hands out to me when they're dirty, assuming that I will clean them. He still comes to me for food, drink, fun, and hugs; instead of running off with a pack of toddlers bent on mischief.
So yes, he wears me out. But he and I have developed some pretty great routines and habits that are uniquely ours. And today? He brought me his juice cup, set it on the counter, and while making the sign for "more", he said "juice". His first sentence. He'll get there.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Since I get tired of listening to the same artist over and over via CDs, but the radio stations never seem to play what I like, I've started using a cool computer tool for music. It's called Pandora, you'll find my stations list over on the right under the scrapbook slideshow. (I deleted Jason's stations to protect your ears.) You can go to www.Pandora.com, put in your favorite artist, song, or musical style and it will create and play a music list for you. If it plays anything you don't like, you tell it so and it adjusts the list to remove that song and anything like it. Conversely, if it plays something you love, you tell it so and again, it adjusts accordingly. Very cool! We have found all sorts of new music this way.
So, if you're looking for some new music or want to listen to some of my favorites, click on the blue box on the right and go explore! If you're a silence-needer when you're on the computer, well, I guess go to my previous blog entry and laugh at the comic instead!
**Update!** Jason just pointed out that I left one of his stations on there. Whoops! Social Distortion is not one of my favorites, although I admit that its one of the tamer bands he listens to. And, there are a few mix tapes in my drawer (remember those?) with some Social D songs on there (made by Jason back in the day) that I love. But really, the other stations are more my taste....choose carefully!
Sunday, May 07, 2006
This weekend, the prompt was to share a joke. Now anyone who knows me in "real" life, knows that I am not a joke person. I love humor, love watching stand-up comedians, love to laugh. But to share a joke? Yeah, that's not me at all. Whenever I try, if I can actually think of one which is rare, I get all tongue-tied in the effort of remembering the punchline. And, lucky for me, I married into a family of punsters. And they're really good at it. Especially my brother-in-law. He can tell a story in which every sentence contains a pun, and he tells them with such a straight face, you'd never realize there was a joke happening. I have learned to listen VERY carefully when talking to him!
So, in lieu of a joke, here's one of my favorite comic strips. The characters are a stay at home dad who likes to spend a lot of time on the computer and his small children who make that difficult. Other than the man/woman thing, that usually strikes home! Here's one from last week that made me, and my expanding waistline, laugh:
Here are a few of my husband's favorites:
What do you call a man with no arms and no legs hanging on your wall?
What do you call arms and legs hanging on your wall?
Pieces of Art.
What do you call two guys with no arms and legs hanging on your wall?
Curt and Rod.
Hope I haven't offended anyone! That was the best I could do!
Friday, May 05, 2006
It's really hard to make layouts with a white background look normal here, but isn't this one pretty? I saw this quote and knew exactly what picture to use with it. There is no such thing as a useless flower in Emma's eyes!
Oh and Mom, I saw your comment on the last post, thank you! It feels good to have a proud Mom behind me!
And just to speed the process a bit, when you do get your copy, turn to pages 45 and 86 for my pages and their write ups. Both layouts are part of special sections and have small articles attached. And as my friend, Karen, put it, the one that has my self portrait is STINKIN' HUGE!!!
Sorry to have a post filled with bragging, but I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! This was such a dream of mine and to finally have it in my hands is awesome. Also, the layout of Emma is very meaningful to our family. Seeing it in print, there for everyone to see and think about, well, that's just cool!
But really, why are you still here reading this? Go to the store!!
Thursday, May 04, 2006
If I have the joy of encountering you again, and your son persists on following my socially-phobic son around, and when my son demonstrates that he does not want to be hugged for the zillionth time, and your son PUSHES MY SON DOWN THE STAIRS, and you SAY NOTHING, don't be shocked if someone else gets pushed down the stairs.
Dear city planners of the South,
Why did you choose not to install sidewalks anywhere? Do you have any idea how hard it is to teach children the difference between the street and, well, not the street when there is no clear division between the two? Especially when we are forced to take our evening walks in the street? The difference between a black driveway and a black road is NOT OBVIOUS to kids who are most likely watching airplanes in the sky anyway.
Dear husband of mine,
Let me let you in on a little secret. When you are in your full uniform and standing amongst twenty or so other soldiers in full uniform, you are NOT EASY TO SEE. So next time you want me to come see you jump out of a perfectly good helicopter, please use one of the specially purchased cell phone thingies we each carry (like you said you would) and TELL ME WHEN AND WHERE TO MEET YOU. I didn't really feel like wading across a tall tick-infested meadow and then through a large Private-infested group of soldiers to find you. So I didn't. But I did get some pictures!
Lest you think all has fallen apart today, I'll share with you the brightest part of my day. Emma was looking at me with a sweet smile on her face this morning. Then she said, "Mommy, when I grow up, can I borrow that skirt and shirt? You look beautiful."
Puddle! I was a puddle of mush! I practically offered her ice cream for breakfast after that one! And yes, Emma, you can borrow it. But please don't grow up too fast.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Do I have a motorcycle? No. Do I know how to ride a motorcycle? No. I've ridden on the back of one along the notorious Hwy 17 from San Jose to Santa Cruz and back at a very high rate of speed, but that's a story for another post. But I do love motorcycles. And if I were childless, jobless, and rich, I would buy one. And I would ride the heck out of it!
That said, I'm really craving a road trip. Like the little ones my girlfriends and I used to go on in college. No particular destination or schedule. Just a car, tunes, windows down, and space to laugh, sing really loudly, and dream a bit. But heck, these days I would be happy with a trip to the beach with something other than The Wiggles playing over the van stereo!!
Then again, I wouldn't mind tagging along next time my brother goes HERE!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
- sweep/mop the kitchen and especially the *ugh* bathrooms
- finish gathering old clothes for Goodwill and TAKE THEM THERE (for some reason, bags of clothes and two old vacuums have been migrating between the garage and van for weeks)
- put Emma's school artwork into her art binder
- file tax paperwork that I don't need to deal with anymore (since, you know, tax season is over)
- clean off my computer desk
- BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAA....sorry that last one cracked me up...whew!
- put away Emma's hanging clothes
- play outside with George
- plant the rest of my flowers before they die a sad death in their store containers
- take a nap
- clean out the refrigerator
Oh goodness, now I'm just getting crazy! I better stop before I think of anything else as ridiculous as that one!
Monday, May 01, 2006
Mom just got done reading The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown and she's going to lend me her copy so I can read it next. I know, I know, we're a little behind the times. But she and I share the perverse habit of staying FAR away from anything trendy. But, it's been recommended to us by enough people we trust that we've finally given in. I haven't asked her about it since she finished it, but last I heard, she was tearing through it. Non-stop action, love that!
I'm knee deep in design books and magazines right now, but the last fiction I read was The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Dominque. I don't normally read ghost stories, but there seem to be a heck of a lot of them on the New Releases shelf these days. And since that's where I grab randomly as I walk by, that's what I've been reading. It was actually very good, following the parallels between several generations, narrated by someone trapped "between life and whatever comes next".
And Emma got a great book out of the Bookmobile last week. It's called Sally and the Some-Thing by George O'Connor. Well illustrated, full of good, clean kid humor, and a wonderful message about compromises. She had me read it to her four times, and then later I caught her "reading" it to herself. She has to turn it in tomorrow, so we'll have to read it one last time tonight.
So there you are, shared interests and book recommendations all in one post!