Friday, December 16, 2011

day 16 eli the elf

this was certainly a day worth remembering.
we found eli buckled in the backseat of our van this morning,
complete with a backpack & a plastic suit.
the backpack was because he was going to school with sam,
and the plastic suit was so that we could touch him without him losing his magic.
you see, sam performed in the nutcracker at his school today,
and eli wanted to go.
apparently the elves do a performance themselves while at the north pole,
hey, that's at least what he said. 
he had a wonderful time,
and sam did a lovely job,
especially when they did the color red.
maggie and will were delighted to have an extra audience member with them,
and i was quite impressed with this little elves' clever attempt to come more alive to my children.
he's pretty committed, i tell ya.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

day 14 eli the elf

eli out did himself today.
perhaps this was one of my favorite days.
we found him hanging from the kitchen light fixture,
examining snowflakes through his microscope,
and he left the snowflake bentley book,
which just so happened to be EXCELLENT!
it's about wilson bentley,
the first person to photograph snowflakes.
so interesting and entertaining.
we read it over and over today.
then we spent our time making snowflakes to mimic the ones eli brought.
he may or may not have printed them from this place.
there were a few tears shed when trying to stick to the exactness of the template,
so we bagged the templates and made our own.
the boys did it for at least an hour.
they just couldn't believe that they couldn't make 2 snowflakes look the same.
we even had a stranger stop by to buy some stuff we were selling.
both boys felt inclined to send him with 2 snowflakes.
i will never tire of watching my boys so engaged with a project,
or of admiring their uniqueness in the way they do things.
i appreciate them and love them,
and something about this activity really brought that home to me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

day 13 eli the elf

we found eli in the game closet today.
he knows we love playing games,
and he is scoping out what we already have
and sending suggestions for a new Christmas game back to the north pole.
our assignment today was to play a family game.
it provided a perfect time to make these scrabble pieces that i've been wanting to make.
there wasn't too much game playing with them,
but we sure had fun making & eating them.
we all discovered how much we love gingerbread,
and the dough is just as good as the cookies. :)
and the 1-inch squares are perfect for dipping in milk when you need a break from doing homework.

Monday, December 12, 2011

day 12 eli the elf

eli loves sweet treats,
and he was so happy we made sugar cookies last night.
he was disappointed that they weren't iced and decorated.
he spent his night decorating a few,
and our assignment today was to finish them up and deliver them to our cousins.
the kids put their best effort into this assignment.
maggie LOVED covering her high chair tray with red sprinkles.
sam tried his best to decorate accurately,
but then he became more interested in eating the candy circles.
will put the most effort into it.
each cookie had about 1 inch of icing and about 1 inch of sprinkles.
he loves the sweet stuff,
and i'm glad he got to share them with some of his favorite people.

through my child's lens

sam's lens

Sunday, December 11, 2011

day 11 eli the elf

eli didn't make an appearance today.
maybe the orchestrator forgot??
i mean, maggie took too much magic yesterday.
he was working on building his supply back up,
so we just left him alone today.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

day 10 eli the elf

another day in the snow for eli.
he didn't move from his spot today because we didn't complete his assignment of making snow yesterday.
he decided to spend the night making marshmellow snowmen in his sugary pile of snow.
the kids were so curious about his "snow" that he was sitting in;
they kept encouraging me to taste,
but i refused.
they finally got brave enough and discovered it was sugar.
then they couldn't keep their hands out of it.
even maggie.
she got carried away and decided to take eli out of the snow.
she carried it across the house to me.
the boys were totally panicked!
i grabbed eli by his string and placed him out of reach on the christmas tree.
we knew he lost a lot of magic with that episode.
the boys were frantic he would not come back.
we worked hard to keep him and untouched,
and we definitely made sure we completed his request.
boy, am i glad we did!
that snow was awesome!
i don't know if i was more impressed or the children.
if your elf hasn't delivered snow in seconds perhaps you should try to find some.
we enjoyed fulfilling this request,
and now we are nervously waiting to see if maggie stole too much magic for him to return again.

Friday, December 9, 2011

day 9 eli the elf

eli is ready for snow.
we found him doing snow angels in a pile of white stuff this morning.
his note informed us that he is getting a little homesick and missing the snow from the north pole.
he wants to build snowmen, have snowball fights, and do real snow angels.
he left us a package of snow in seconds.
he wants snow,
and he wants us to figure out how to make it.
i must admit we are a little ready for snow around here, too.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

day 8 eli the elf

eli caught the stomach flu.
we found him in the medicine cabinet loading up on meds this morning.
the virus surely came from sam.
sam's on day 2 of missed school with throwing up,
so he wished us a day of resting & relaxing.
i guess the boys got that playing while i worked all day.
now i'm the one needing the resting & relaxing!
perhaps that's the request he will bring tomorrow.
one can hope, right?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

day 7 eli the elf

today worked out great for eli.
i was certain he would never be found tucked away in sam's stuffed animal net.
due to a series of unordinary events he was found rather quickly.
sam got into our bed last night because he was having a dream that pete was trying to blow up our house.
will got in sam's bed this morning in an attempt to trick us.
while he was laying there he spied eli all tucked into the animal pile.
eli was thrilled to find the animals and knew how much the boys love animals,
so he delivered tickets for a night at the zoo to see the zoo lights.
unfortunately it was freezing cold, sam was sick, and the tickets expired today,
but we loaded up anyways to make an appearance.
it was cold as expected.
freezing cold.
sam was still sick.
the lights were cool,
but the real treat was the free refill hot chocolate mug we bought.
we all shared,
so we will probably all be sick.
all in all, a fun time.
thanks, eli!

will proud that he finally found the elf

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

day 6 eli the elf

we found eli in the box of christmas books this morning.
he was enjoying them so much he decided to send a request in for another.
thankfully amazon, i mean santa, was delivering the i spy christmas book today.
we have been laying under the christmas tree spying things all day.

Monday, December 5, 2011

day 5 eli the elf

we found our elf in the shower this morning.
he has been trying to figure this bath thing out since he has been here.
apparently they don't do baths in the north pole.
he was enjoying the bath so much he left us a christmas shower curtain to enjoy.
the cutest part of all about today's find was maggie.
she wondered into the bathroom this morning and noticed the new curtain and began ooohhhing and aaaawwwing.
she ran for us right away and was thrilled to show us her new find.
she couldn't keep her hands off those cute reindeer.
fun for all.

through my child's lens

will's self-portrait lens

Sunday, December 4, 2011

day 4 eli the elf

the kids found eli the elf staring into our manager scene this morning.
he came with the important reminder that christmas is more than just the fun things,
but the main purpose is to celebrate a little baby's birth from many years ago.
Eli wanted to share the story of Christmas with us through the movie The Story of Christmas.
i don't know how that sneaky elf knows about netflix!
however, we were too busy cleaning up the trees in our neighborhood & having dinner with friends that we missed the movie.
it's in our queue ready & waiting.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

day 3 eli the elf

our elf got hungry during the night.
he decided to use some of his magic and some of the ingredients we had on hand and whip up these tasty vanilla pretzel santa hats.
he said they were his favorite,
and they were pretty tasty i might add.
his message to us today was to clean up the mess he made in the night
and then make a batch of these tasty treats to share with a friend. 
perfect timing,
we were spending the evening with friends.
will and maggie slept through the making of this creation,
but they sure enjoyed eating them.
who knows where he will end up tonight.
the boys surely can't wait to wake each morning and find him.

Friday, December 2, 2011

day 2 eli the elf

we had a horrible wind storm yesterday.
it knocked our power out,
so we stayed over night at pete's mom's house.
we worried about eli and if he was going to be ok,
much less be able to move around.
he surprised us.
when we returned home this morning we were surprised.
the fireplace doors were open,
the parachute on the floor,
and eli was missing.
it took a minimum of  5 minutes for my boys to find him.
we combed the whole house.
sam found him in the christmas tree.
he got all tangled in the lights while trying to the eat the dried apple & dried orange ornaments.
he took a bite out of an apple ornament even!
the boys could not figure out how he got over there.
will was explaining his theory with lots of hand movements.
he accidentally touched the elf,
and sam panicked.
poor will.
it was such an accident,
but he immediately started to cry.
he was so worried that eli was going to leave.
we got that worked out with the explanation that he doesn't lose much magic with a one time accidental touch.
he had 2 messages today.
1. he had observed how much the kids like being with their mom all day and how good they were at cleaning up when she asked. he sent santa the message that a kid-sized broom and vacuum would be fitting gift ideas for these kids. the boys chuckled and thought it would be a good idea. hmmm.
2. since eli loved hanging out in the tree so much he wanted the kids to have a tree in their room, so the activity of the day was decorating small ones for their room. we accomplished that.
can't wait to see where the little guy ends up tomorrow.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

welcome eli the elf

we had a visitor arrive in our home today.
he arrived by parachute down our chimney,
and got a little stuck as he was trying to get in.
he's small,
doesn't say much,
and looks like he could have come from the north pole.
thank goodness he came bearing a note.
he introduced himself as eli the elf.
he informed us that he has come to observe our family,
learn all about our likes
and see the things we own,
so he can help santa make the most suitable gift for our family.
he will explore our homes every night,
and we must find him the next day and read his note.
the tricky part is that we can't touch him.
if we do he loses his magic and must return to the north pole.
thankfully we haven't touched him yet.
the letter that he brings every day contains a christmas activity for us to do that day.
if we do it he brings us another one the next day.
our activity today was to write in our family christmas journal about what makes christmas special to us,
what we like to do at christmastime,
and what we like to eat at christmas.
he has created so much excitement around here.
while this is not our usual type of christmas activity,
i think it is exactly what we needed this year,
and i hope eli finds his way back here each year,
and perhaps he will help create fond memories for my children to take to their own homes.
welcome, eli the elf.

Monday, November 28, 2011

through my child's lens

will's lens

Sunday, November 27, 2011

we will never forget

i wasn't afraid to go to sleep last night.
i wasn't worried that pete wouldn't wake up this morning.
i still remember every detail of pete's cardiac arrest 2 years ago,
and i recall those details often,
luckily without the fear & anxiety that accompanied those memories before.
i'm certain not a thanksgiving weekend will pass without much reflection on the events of 2009,
how immensely our family was blessed,
and where we have come because that whole experience.
last year i was certain that it would always be so easy to celebrate and shower pete with my gratitude.
that is how the whole first year was spent,
i was grateful for every breath he took,
and i would find a way to let him know how grateful i was to have him here and breathing.
with the healing of our traumatic event,
and with the normalcy of life so perfectly restored,
i'm ashamed to admit that the intensity of living somehow has gotten overlooked.
in so many ways it feels like it never happened,
so there's not the memory or the drive to show pete everyday how lucky and happy we are that he is still here.
but it did happen.
and he is still here.
and in my quiet moments i am oh so grateful for that.
but this year i don't want to wait for my quiet moments to feel gratitude.
i want to find ways everyday to thank him for being here,
to show him how he still lights up our life,
and how much we appreciate all he does with his life,
especially right here in our family.
so, here's to another year of celebrating,
and never forgetting,
and maybe using an occasional exclamation mark to show him. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

through my child's lens

sam's lens

Friday, November 18, 2011

friday book review: the sibling effect

The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us
Jeffrey Kluger

"The universe of human relationships is an impossibly varied one. Wives have their husbands; children have their parents; lovers their partners; friends have one another. There are cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents, schoolmates and colleagues and rivals and peers. Every one of those relationships plays out under its own set of rules and rituals, each unique, each elaborate. For all that richness and complexity, however, there may be no relationships that can run quite as deep or survive quite as long as those among siblings. You know it if you grew up with one. You know it if you are raising some. You know it if you've merely watched a group of them interact.
From the time we're born, our brothers and sisters are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and our cautionary tales. They are our scolds, protectors, goads, tormentors, playmates, counselors, sources of envy, objects of pride. They help us learn how to resolve conflicts and how not to; how to conduct friendships and when to walk away from them. Bigger sibs learn to nurture by mentoring little ones; little sibs learn wisdom by heeding the older ones. Our spouses and children arrive comparatively late in our lives; our parents leave us too early. Our brothers and sisters are with us for the whole journey."

for those of you who know me well know that my sibling relationships are at the top of my list for relationships nearest and dearest to my heart,
so it's no surprise that we separately selected this book for this month's sibling book club selection.
the above passage and many others in this book have resonated with me,
they have touched my heart deeply,
and made me grateful all over again for the siblings i have.
they know me inside and out;
there's never a need for explaining to them;
they just "get it",
and i am so fortunate for the journey we have already been on together
and fortunate for knowing & hoping that they will be on the whole journey.

i think often about my children who have siblings.
i'm afraid i've meddled too much in their unique relationships,
just trying to make it special for them from the beginning,
exactly how it has been for me.
plus, i've known the potential of sibling relationships,
and i have wanted to re-live it all over again with them.
this book has reminded me that i had my chance;
i will never be apart of their sibling clan.
i am the mother,
and that is oh so very different than the sister!
i've began to accept that i won't be apart of their sibling secrets, games, inside jokes, support, or mischief,
nor is it my place.
instead i will continue to bask in what i have
and rejoice in watching my children establish their own strong sibling bonds,
in their own way.
what a privilege it is to see those bonds forming already!
i love to see maggie run to her brothers 1st thing in the morning with wide arms & slobbery kisses,
and i love to see how happy they are to receive her.
i love to hear both sam & will telling their playmate friends at separate occasions about how cute & sweet their sister is.
i love to watch sam & will get a game going,
making up their own rules,
and compromising with each other.
and i'm even starting to not mind the fighting
because i'm catching glimpses of their compassion for each other as they practice conflict resolution.
i'm beginning to see the noise and the wrestling, and the silliness as relationship building,
and i look forward to the day when they can look back and know how lucky they are to have had each other.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

someone got a haircut

maggie's hair has grown to be such a reflection of her personality.
the back has these wild curls just like her dad.
she, or i guess i should really say i, have given up on having a bow or accessory in it.
she will touch it within the 1st few seconds, ooh & aahh, and pull it out,
so i've been glad she has curls to distract.
however, they have been a little scraggly and out of control.
so, what's a hairstylist mom to do?
well, trim them of course.
no surprise that mag loved getting her haircut.
she sat so big in the chair
and definitely loved watching herself.
in an instant those curls went from mangey to manageable.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

happy halloween....

our halloween was full of candy, parties, and trips to fright mares.
too good to not document.
not to mention too cute...
especially will as flopsy from peter rabbit.
(all his choice. he didn't want to be peter rabbit because he is naughty. he was insistent that his jacket not be blue like peter but red like flopsy. i made that dream come true.)
sam made a terrific ninja.
he originally wanted to be a shark attack victim with a bloody missing arm.
i'm not sure where the idea came from or why he changed his mind.
maggie made a sweet witch,
a good wish of course.

Monday, November 14, 2011

through my child's lens

will's lens

Monday, November 7, 2011

because i'd rather laugh than cry

this is how i feel on many days,
especially today.
this morning before school sam retrieved me from blow drying my hair.
he said i have to come see something that was totally awesome.
to my surprise i walked into the kitchen to see that the boys had emptied the garbage cans all over the kitchen floor.
what's a mom to do!!! 
rest assured,
i didn't clean it up.
shortly after, i attempted to clean up the breakfast mess,
only to find that will & maggie had dumped every blanket we own in maggie's floor to make a blanket city.
that one i did clean up.
THEN i thought i would put some laundry away,
mind you my laundry was just 1/5 of what i was putting away.
i stopped with the boys laundry because apparently they thought it sounded like a good idea to unscrew the knobs off the dresser.
i've stopped my jobs at this point.
i think either way it doesn't matter.
there will always be more jobs waiting.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

shock to the system

we have been home from our mini indiana vacation for 60 hours,
and it has been, well, um, interesting,
even a bit shocking.
i've been shocked about what an adjustment it has been for everyone.
i have been surprised by how maggie has hardly wanted a thing to do with me.
she screamed & cried as we took her away from grandma jane.
mag will hardly even look at me!
that has been a shock.
also shocking that will is so happy to be home;
he is my child that i would have expected to want to stay gone forever.
and sam surprised me by how many hugs he has saved up for me.
the only problem with this is he is so strong he about knocks me over every time.
what is even more shocking than my children's reactions to our return is how out of step i am.
i seemed to breeze through the days with perkiness & purpose.
i could take the mishaps in stride.
oh boy!
i'm still trying to figure out how to not blow a gasket when maggie unscrews the lid off chocolate milk and spills it everywhere,
including all over her fresh, new outfit.
or how she shakes & messes up sam's school glitter birthday poster that i got up at 6:30 to make.
or how she poops her pants just when it is time to leave for school.
and i haven't even mentioned the constant cleaning to still have a messy house.
or the laundry!
hello laundry!
or the late late nights working on halloween costumes.
and the 25 minute hysterical crying power struggles in front of the fabric store,
and pretty much just the full time commitment.
the food,
the finances,
the planning,
the work.
the time.
i have been shocked by how quickly you can lose the rhythm of life
but confident we will get back it.
hopefully sooner than later.

Monday, October 24, 2011

international is the key word

when you are trying to navigate your husband to the airport in a new city at 5:00 am,
try to remember you are going to the International airport,
not the Municipal airport
because you might almost miss your flight.
or at least get to the gate while they are boarding.
i'm just saying that i'm glad we left early enough to have a buffer.
we are almost home,
without the delay of having to take a new flight.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

at the end

at the end of this trip i have realized many things.
i have realized that....
pete & i would a love a trip away once a year,
i enjoy being with pete & feel like i could be around him all the time,
i enjoy eating dinner at 7:30,
& exercising at 9 pm,
going to bed at midnight & waking up at 8:30.
i have realized how much i adore roadside antique stands over antique malls.
i enjoy getting in and out of the car without carseats & coaxing.
it's nice to go in a store without supervising 6 little hands.
i like being able to read a book without being interrupted every 4 sentences,
and i like not having to spend a large chunk of time in the hotel pool.
i have also realized that i wouldn't want this lifestyle all the time.
i choose my kids,
and i choose being a mom,
even over the freedom.
i have realized that i love many things about where i live.
i love my neighbors,
i love having my family so close and all the benefits that brings.
i love my job,
and i love the seasons.
and the snow.
i love the distance we are from sam's school,
and i have realized how important the chinese immersion program is for my children.
i love the mountains,
and i realize how much inspiration that a part of me finds there to be the kind of person i want to be.
i love the access to almost anything you could want.
i have also realized that my dream house is a white 2-story farmhouse,
with acreage, a barn, stream, and forest all in your backyard,
and i prefer the midwest pricetag that would allow you to get that for $235000.
i have realized how badly i want cats, chickens, bees, and a pumpkin farm.
i have realized how much a part of my heart craves this simple life,
and i have realized what a bind i am in to ever have to decide which life i want the most.
i have realized how lucky i am to be able to choose,
how lucky we are to carve out our own destiny.
and i have realized how lucky i am to have a husband who would so perfectly know that this is exactly the kind of trip i like taking.
i have realized all the reasons i am so lucky.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

first 24 hours

 pete & i have taken off to indiana for a vacation,
just the 2 of us.
we have had many laughs,
to name a few...

*when we arrived last night at 11:30 i called our hotel to let them know we just landed only to be informed that they overbooked and they booted us out. they booked another room for us over an hour away from where we were supposed to be staying. the tab was on them, but needless to say by 1:30 am many firm phone calls later we wouldn't have cared if we had to pay double for a room close to things where we wanted to stay. it was easier to laugh about it once we were checked into our original room today.

*we spent some time at a really cool mall downtown indianapolis. it sprawls throughout the downtown and is connected with a tunnel system. it was full of 1000s of high school ffa students. they are here for a convention. they all had on their jackets with their state on the back. we found it odd that we didn't see anyone from utah. during our stroll pete spotted a cute clothing boutique and said that looked like my style of store and suggested we go in. and guess who else was in there? the utah ffa girls! that was the only place we saw utah ffa people. does that say something about me?

*pete wanted to go in banana republic. we both love clothes from there for him, but we don't agree on style. however, i'm always suggesting outfits to him. today i suggested an outfit with khaki pants, plaid shirt, sweater jacket, and tie. i asked pete if he liked it, and he said no. he said he would have to be an english teacher in connecticut. does that say something about me?

we have done more than just laugh about silly things.
we spent some time at the indianapolis motor speedway.
it was rather fascinating...
and cold,
with rain,
and no coat.

we also shopped for lunch at an amish market.
we enjoyed a random smorgasbord of goodies...
pretzel bread, peanut butter spread, hot pepper cheese, sarsaparilla, and, um, pickled okra.

dinner was a different experience.
we went to bub's,
a carmel hamburger shop.
adam richmond from man vs. food did a challenge there.
pete took part in the challenge tonight
and was successful.
go, pete!
it was also fun to eat dinner @ 7:30 pm and sit for 25 minutes to wait for a table with no distractions.
miss you, kids!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

sister craft day

my favorite project of the month

my sister & i get together every monday for a day of crafting, talking, eating, & problem solving,
but mostly crafting.
we devote the whole school day,
and i. love. every. second. of. it!
perhaps it is my favorite day of the week.
the only thing missing from regular sister craft day is the youngest sister.
boo. :(

talk about the old days!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

through my child's lens

sam's lens

Thursday, October 6, 2011

vanderlinden cafe

do you ever make food that you love so much that you want to literally drink every last drop?
from time to time i do,
and there have been several of those nights this week,
particularly tonight.
it was cold here today,
so i made my 1st pot of soup of the season.
even will loved it.
he said the prayer,
and he said...
"thank you that we could have food that smells so good and be healthy for our body."
not only does it smell good and be somewhat healthy for your body,
it is downright tasty.
if you don't mind "drinking" soup all night,
every time you walk through the kitchen,
then you must make this soup.

rumbi's tortilla soup
(from Domestic Art vol. 2 cookbook)

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. white onions
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. diced jalapeños
8 c. chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
2 c. julienne carrots
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 c. diced tomatoes
1/2 c. diced red onions
1 tsp. salt
3 pre-roasted chicken thighs (i added this to give it more substance); could use a rotisserie chicken, too

mozzarella cheese
tortilla strips or chips crumbled
lime wedge (do NOT leave out!)

pre-heat oven to 425. rub olive oil on thighs and then season with curry powder, salt, & italian seasoning. roast chicken in oven for 45 minutes. meanwhile, combine oil, onions, garlic, an jalapeno in soup pot. sauté for 2 minutes. add remaining ingredients, including shredded chicken; bring to a medium simmer for 5 minutes or until carrots are a little tender. pour soup into individual bowls, tip with corn strips and cheese. squeeze lime over top.

and try to not drink it.
i guess that's kind of weird,
even if it is tasty!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

public announcement

will passed on some very important news to me today.
he informed me that he no longer wants to be called will.
he now wants to be called black widow.
so, if you see him on the street,
just remember,
address him as black widow.
thank you very much.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

all these things shall give you experience

today was a perfect day.
just exactly like the days i dream of...
a perfectly executed list,
no time wasted,
everyone happy & clean,
calm & peaceful home that was full of quality time,
meals that tasted like we were eating in a restaurant,
projects that i wanted to do while the kids were cooperative.
you get the point.
if i didn't know better,
i would have ventured to say that i've got the hang of this life thing.
the second that thought crept into my mind,
i showed it out with a laugh & a memory.
when sam was 6-9 months i was with him in his pediatricians office for a wellness check.
i made a comment that will live with me for so many reasons.
i said that i didn't know what the big deal was.
i thought being a mom (to an only child under 1!) wasn't hard,
and i was trying to figure out what the deal was for other moms.
i'm so grateful my dr. chastised me.
he warned me to watch myself
and just wait.
he also advised that i never say that to other mothers.
i feel like it's ok if i say it now because i am not the same young, inexperienced mom i was then.
2 more kids later and much more living later life,
i shudder at my naivety.
i have learned that being a mother is hard work,
and many days are nothing more than one continuous disaster.
to-do lists have to go out the window most days in order to accommodate the natural demands of young children,
and even on good days it doesn't mean that they have come easily.
if i've learned anything as a mother it is to savor days like this,
welcome them,
and bottle them up for days that are far less desired.
and DON'T think for a second you've got it figured it out
because tomorrow will surely prove you wrong,
and if it's not tomorrow the day will surely come where it will.
i know the storms will rage and fierce winds will come,
days will be blackened,
and all elements will hedge up against you at times during all seasons of motherhood,
but i also know that all of these things will give experience and be for your good.
it will give enough experience to know that days like today are few and far between sometimes,
and experience tells me to savor it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

one of those days + some humor

when i woke up i could tell it was going to be 'one of those days'.
i felt frumpy & dated,
not a good thing for a work day.
as soon as will woke up he started crying about not wanting to go to school,
the 3rd day in a row.
the van didn't start when it was time to leave to take sam to school,
(despite the new $100 battery).
at least having the neighborhood powwow at my van got will distracted.
he stopped crying for the 1st time since he woke up.
after we got the van started this conversation took place:

me to will: "well, now our problems are solved. the van is fixed."

will to me: "it didn't solve my problems. i still hate school."

and he was right.
it didn't solve his problems,
but it sure made me laugh.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

blast from the past

i write on my blog because i can look back on little gems like this,
and my children can continue to warm my heart over and over.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

the best of intentions

a few weeks ago a very good friend told me she stopped reading my blog awhile ago.
she said it made her feel like a bad mother.
i've been thinking about her comment ever since.
first of all, i'm still trying to figure out what on earth she is talking about!
second of all, i've been wondering why we do this to ourselves.
why we are constantly comparing ourselves to others in our same lot.
(me included!)
and that is why i decided to write this post....
to remind us that we mothers should really be in this journey of motherhood together,
to stop comparing our children and our efforts to every other mother around us.
there really is no perfect mother,
and on many days i find myself wondering if i was really cut out for this.
the truth of the matter is that i have more days than i would like to count where i don't feel like being a mom that day,
especially saturdays,
that's the day my mother brain checks out,
almost every week.
i have days where getting on the floor and playing with my kids is the last thing i want to do.
i say things to my children that i regret,
and i don't like them around when i'm sewing anymore,
and i yell at them when they are pulling my thread out,
and i yell at them for other things, too.
i've even been known to tell them that they are "driving me crazy!" or "killing me!",
and i would skip sundays all together.
many weeks i'm so bad at doing laundry that sam already knows to go look in the dryer when he is out of clean socks in hopes that there are some unfolded in there.
my house is much messier than i would like for it to be,
and i don't always take the mess in stride.
especially when my house smells like rotten food or kid pee.
i worry constantly if i'm loving my kids enough,
or if i am capable to teach them how to love themselves and overcome their insecurities.
so often i feel unprepared to be the kind of mother that i want to be;
many days i feel like i'm faking my way through this daunting task of motherhood.
i have a natural tendency to remember the negative things,
but that is not how i want to be,
and it's not how i want to remember these precious days with my little ones.
so, i write honestly on this blog about the good moments with my children because that is what i want to have in the end.
and i've always hoped that in sharing my experiences that other moms would see the bright side of their days, too.
that in some small way we could feel like we really are all in this together,
without judgement or criticism.
so, i'm sorry if i've done the opposite to any other readers.
it has never been my intention.
we are all just doing the best we can,
and that should be enough.

oh, in case you are still reading from time to time,
 i still love you CM!
your comment didn't hurt my feelings.
it just made me think. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011


sam finally got a girlfriend today.
it was his 1st school report when he got in the car.  
he said he didn't know her name yet,
but he chased her at recess trying to get her to play spy with him.
he never caught her;
she never stopped running from him.
he said she is beautiful,
(which she really is),
and she wears pink tom shoes like his sister.
and there you have it...
sam finally has a girlfriend.                                        

Friday, September 16, 2011

friday book review: the mixed up chameleon

the mixed up chameleon
by eric carla
suggested reading level: ages 4-8

this is a story of a chameleon who does not like that he changes color to match his surroundings. he notices a zoo and all the unique animals there, and he begins to wish he could be like the animals. he finds his wishes coming true as he becomes tall like a giraffe, handsome like a flamingo, smart like a fox, and on and on. the more he wishes, the more he changes. he turns into a mixed up little chameleon as he takes on parts of all the animals. he soon discovers that the parts look great on the original animals but don't do very well together. he wishes to be himself again so he can reach a fly to eat. this book sends the message that being yourself is always the best, and that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

this book was read the first week of will's preschool,
and he is wanting to read it constantly ever since.
his teacher did a cute activity with a picture of a clear chameleon.
will has played with that chameleon almost everyday since.
he loves putting it over everyone's clothes to see it change.
i can imagine how this book must resonate with him;
he is our child who is already so comfortable in his own skin.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

phase out

i work on thursdays.
i have for many years,
and almost 6 years with children.
in 2005 my sister started watching sam,
and then in 2007 she added will,
and in 2010 i sent maggie, too.
as i was driving maggie and will there this morning,
it dawned on me how long this routine has been happening
and all of the changes that have taken place during this span.
particularly how sam & emi bonded from the beginning,
how the kid count went from 2 to 4 in a matter of a few weeks,
and how maggie made 5 kids to be watched at once,
how will finally stopped hitting mack & became friends who can play all day,
how many replay conversations my sister & i have had about the days,
what they ate,
how they napped,
and how they played.
i think one of the biggest changes so far is happening right now.
sam & emi are both in school,
mack is in preschool on thursdays,
so that just leaves maggie & will.
projecting to less than a year from now,
everyone will be in school except for maggie.
she will be the only one.
the era of auntie babysitting is phasing out.
this has been my 1st evidence of how quickly my children pass through phases,
how things will always change and end even when it becomes so normal that you think it will last forever.
just like auntie babysitting on thursdays.
there's no doubt about my level of appreciation for my sister.
she has been just like a 2nd mother.
she has selflessly taken care of my children just like they were her own.
i know how exhausting her days must have been watching 5 kids under the age of 4,
or how old it must have gotten cleaning up the hurricane messes,
and i don't even want to know how many things my kids have broken!
she has been the one who has provided a place for cousin relationships to blossom into lifelong friendships.
i love her,
my children love,
and i hope that in some way she will know how indebted i feel to her.
thank you for allowing us to all pass through this phase together
and for giving us many stories to talk about in all the years to come. :)
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