Wednesday, April 29, 2009

home ... and the realization that life isn't much different than it was when i left.

i'm home.

i imagined myself barging through the door ... arms opened wide ... my children would run into them, enveloped in the magnitude of love that i've felt for them while i was away (pretending to be an expert ... and watching other experts and realizing that i'm not) ...

my children would hug me and kiss me and tell me how much they missed me and not let go of me for the rest of the night ...

and i would swallow it all in. relishing every single second. never wanting to leave again. realizing that this is where i am the expert. i keep the house running. i make sure that stripes and polka dots don't go together. i am the one that can put in the professionally accomplished pigtails. i am the only one that can do this mothering thing.

but even without my presence for a few days ... it's apparent that life proceeded.

the house was still standing.

my skye-dog came running from the backyard to acknowledge my homecoming. her and i dragged my heavily weighted bags into the front door. and looked around. it was still my house. picked up. no different from the moment i walked out the door on sunday.

we walked back outside. i yelled their names into the chilly evening air. (imagine if you will a streetcar named desire inspired "steeeelllaaa"). no answer. no screams of delight. no response.

no messy haired, disheveled children running up to mama pleading for me to stay home forever.

skye-dog and i wandered into the backyard and the girls were playing on the swingset.
they smiled and cora smiled ... "mommy home!" she said. and then went back to swinging. her loosely fastened blonde pigtails whispering in the wind. stella was a bit more standoffish. an emotion i'm just not used to seeing in her. quietly showing me her newly acquired skill ... the ability to pump whilst swinging. "i don't need to be pushed anymore mama!" she told me.

and they were coordinated ... not necessarily each other ... but their outfits ... matched.

it was the way i had left it. more like a single work day's absence, and not three.

i had a secret little wish that everyone would miss me terribly and realize how important the little things that i do daytoday are ...

i wanted my husband to struggle just a little ... to have a renewed appreciation for what i do when he is gone ...

i wanted to not like getting away ... to stay where i am ... because it's easier on everyone ...

most of all i wanted to come home refreshed ... and i did. not with all the hoopla and relief that i had envisioned ...

but still ... i'm home.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

dear husband.

in honor of earth day, and in the attempt to save a tree ...
i've decided to give my husband his "dear husband" letter (which sounds like it could be a lot like a dear john letter ... but isn't.) on this here blog. feel free to comment and give him some additional advice as you see fit. i'm sure he'll appreciate it.

dear husband ...

thank you. thank you for agreeing to watch the girly-girls for a few days, while i run off and pretend to be some kind of expert speech-language pathologist. in front of a lot of people. in a new fancy outfit.

because, while i know that it's your duty as a parent ... to, um ... parent ... in the absence of the OTHER parent ... it's a daunting task. to be on your own ... for several days and nights. outnumbered. i know. believe me ... i know.

but ... i promise ... it's hard. but ... oh-so-fun. in the end ... i'm pretty sure that you will look back on these few days and remember how much fun you had ... getting to be the part-time single parent for a few days.

(and if all goes swell? maybe this will become a more regular occurence ... and then you don't have to look back on THIS time as a fond memory ... but you can look back on these mommy getaway weekends as fond memorIES.)*

here is some advice. take it or leave it. or make up your own ... 'cause that's probably going to work out better for you in the end anyways. ...

  • stripes and polka dots ... don't match.
  • unless stella has dressed herself. then ... whatever she picks ... matches.
  • seriously ... don't fight that fight.
  • dresses/skirts = no crying episodes before 8 am.
  • jeans = minimal crying before 8 am.
  • pants = much crying before 8 am. (especially if YOU are wearing a skirt ... but ... i'm thinking this isn't going to be a problem for you.)
  • tell stella and cora how much i love them.
  • kids eat 3 times per day (unless they are at daycare ... then it's 2 times).
  • dog eats 2 times per day.
  • cats eat 1 time per day.
  • except for jazzy ... who gets breakfast.
  • don't let skye off the line without watching her. a wise woman once told me that labradors like to roll on baby bunny nests. save the bunnies.
  • by the way ... there was a big bunny-rabbit by the garden the other night ... be careful when clearing out that pile of leaves. more bunnies maybe? save the bunnies.
  • if your choice is to clean or to play? pick play. (i can help clean when i get home).
  • don't serve wild rice with spaghetti.
  • don't serve pierogies with potato chips.
  • call me. everynight.
  • if the girls are tired ... they go to sleep MUCH faster. a game of tag before bath ... always helps. unless it's raining. ah ... screw it ... i'm pretty sure a game of tag in the rain would be fun too.
  • don't get frustrated at bedtime.
  • if you expect it to take 15 minutes ... it will take 2 hours. if you give yourself 2 hours ... it might take 15 minutes.
  • kiss my girls and tell them how much mommy loves them.
  • read three books with stella.
  • unless you want to look like the rockstar parent ... and make me suffer just a little bit when i get back ... then read 4 or more.
  • use her music. really. it helps her fall asleep.
  • if cora wakes up around 11 ... walk quickly (and quietly) into her room and pop that nuk-nuk back in.
  • if she is sitting up and mumbling something incoherent ... help her lay back down ... cover her up with her blanket ... and pat her. she'll be out in 10 seconds.
  • cheers! here's to hoping they sleep all night for you! (it's awesome when they do!)
  • in the morning? cuddle them.
  • and remind them how much their mama loves them.
  • polka dots and stripes ... don't match ... usually ...

again. thank you. i'm sure i'm appreciating it. truly.
but i'm sure i'm also missing you guys a ton already. i'll try to enjoy myself. don't worry.

love (the love of your life) ... mommy.

* but next time ... i'm totally going somewhere fun. without a schedule. and with an accompanying book. (that is totally not a children's book.) and more camera time for me. so maybe somewhere tropical?
dear girly-girls.

listen to daddy. have fun. pay attention. have good attitude. be silly. pick up your toys. call mommy. cora - don't hit friends. it's owie. be sweet like honey. and stella - you can be beautiful in pants too. fashion doesn't require dresses. mostly just remember how much i love you. i'll be home soon.

because i love you ... a lot. to the moon ... and back.

as big as the universe. forever and ever. and round like a circle ... always.

kisses and hugs.

love ... mommy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

eight ...

(before we get started ... gosh y'all ... sorry about that last post ... it was written in between kiddos ... and now that i look back on it? ugh. can you say, choppy? oh yeah ... and the one before that? truly i'm all over my pity party ... not sure what that was all about ... let's just move on, shall we?)

eight things ...

i was tagged for a meme by connie at the youngandtherelentless ... who was tagged by jen at Harried Mom of Four.

eight things i am looking forward to:
1 ... summer.
2 ... which carries with it the benefit of NOT WORKING for three months.
3 ... the greening up of things.
4 ... planting my garden. peapods and tomatoes ... cucumbers and zucchini ... peppers and raspberries.
5 ... getting out of here so that i don't have to listen to that obnoxious girl screaming into a walkie-talkie anymore ... oh wait ... someone stopped her!
5 ... (take two) ... getting through my presentation on tuesday.
6 ... buying new clothes to WEAR at my presentation on tuesday.
7 ... getting a little bit of almost-by-my-self time for a few days (and nights) ... which coincidentally i am also totally NOT looking forward to ... i'm gonna miss those girly-girls so much that it hurts.
8 ... getting home on tuesday night.

eight things i did yesterday:
1 ... worked.
2 ... played with my girly-girls. outside.
3 ... went to dance class. well ... cora's dance class. (which doesn't require me to shake it TOO much).
4 ... took away tv privilages (no ... wizards of waverly place? oh the horror!).
5 ... convinced her that reading extra books and puzzles are so much better.
6 ... sang in the shower with the girls.
7 ... managed to get both kids in bed and asleep. much earlier than usual.
8 ... put myself to bed. much earlier than usual. and then slept. all. night. long.

eight things i wish i could do:
1 ... sleep all night long. everynight.
2 ... have a horse again. because ... you know ... i TOTALLY have the time.
3 ... take pictures without EVER using the automatic settings on my camera.
4 ... read my camera manual so that i could really get away from those automatic settings.
5 ... be a stay at home mama.
6 ... home school my girly-girls.
7 ... have a smaller sized farm with a bigger garden.
8 ... have my husband home every night.

eight shows i watch:
(this is a hard one ... we rarely watch tv.)
1 ... but apparently wizards of waverly place is stella's most favorite show EVER. so we watch it. when we aren't not watching it because we had a wee bit of five-year-old attitude.
2 ... the planet earth series. that guy has a voice that puts the babies to sleep.
3 ... the blue planet series (is that the name of it?) ... basically ... the same as the above ... but water.
4 ... does the weather channel count?
5 ... i used to like watching that show queer eye for the straight guy ... is it on anymore?
6 ... baby story ... when i'm around in the mornings ... rare occurance.
7 ... dora ... well it's what coconut watches for about 2.2 minutes.
8 ... hannah montana ... occasionally.

now ... to tag eight people?

(here's the deal ... i can't remember who's done this ... i can't remember who doesn't do memes ... i can't remember ... so do it ... or don't ... i'm fine with either. and if you aren't on here ... i meant to put your name in one of those last three slots ... i just forgot ... go ahead ... add your name ... thanks!)
1 ... shangrila at mybellafiglia
2 ... sue at threepeasinapod
3 ... stacie at thoughtsoneverythingandnothing
4 ... suz at greenjello
5 ... kelly at lifeisgood
6 ... put your name here
7 ... put your name here
8 ... put your name here

Thursday, April 23, 2009

if you want it ...

teach it.

in thinking about manners with my own girly-girls and with the children that i work with on a daily basis ... i try to remember this exact phrase ... that a very smart woman once mentioned in a workshop that i attended.

if you want it ... teach it.

it reminds me that ...

not all children are exposed to the same things ...
not all children are required to say please and thank you ...
not all children have parents that model the manners that i expect ...
not all children are the same.

mind blowing, isn't it?

i teach my kiddos to say "good game" and shake hands with their partner's when they are finished playing a game ... regardless of who wins.
i teach my kiddos to say "more, please" ... pretty quickly after they learn to request "more".
i teach my kiddos to say "thank you" ... pretty quickly after they receive their request for "more please".
i teach my kiddos that it's ok to say "hi" when someone acknowledges you.
i teach my kiddos that it's important to use the manners that we've learned.
with each other ... with me ... and with everyone they encounter.

... if you want it, teach it ...

i love when others compliment us on how polite our girls are.
i love when they learned the unprompted pleases and thank yous.
i love watching them interact with people and acknowledge those around them ... all while remembering to be nice.
i love that they realize that using good manners makes them beautiful.

if you want it ... teach it.
and i'm trying to do just that.

spriteskeeper asked us to write about manners this week ... on the spin cycle.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

not a creative post title.

when was it decided upon that the random tuesday thoughts were supposed to be funny? apparently everyone (and their brother) is (are) writing today about how random thoughts are really funny. i must not have gotten the memo. because i just thought this was a way to empty out my brain without having to come up with a creative post title.

so i'm just gonna empty out the ol' brain a little here ... which will most likely be completely unfunny ... and i'm ok with that ... i guess ... here goes.

i've also noticed a bagazillion people (and therefore ALL bloggers) with alltop (kickass confirmations) on their sidebars. so obviously i'm either just reading the blogs of all the popular people ... or i lost the email inviting me to join them as well.

but, whatev. i'm just doing this whole bloggy thing to create a semi-journal for my children.

which apparently will have numerous swear words and references to pee-areas, discussion of my fat ass and random thoughts that should really never have escaped my cranium ... with birth stories and memories thrown in occasionally. i'm sure my kids will be so happy ... to have it ... someday.

and since we are on the subject ... why the hell do i care if people comment? if i'm writing this for my kids????? why does it bother me that 68 people read my blog the other day and i only had 4 comments? FOUR? out of SIXTY EIGHT. that's ... 5.88%. (ok ... so maybe it bugs me a little bit.)

and ... what do i do about people that email me and ask me about putting ads on and "sponsoring" on my little place? don't they know that no-one ever comments here and apparently i'm not on alltop?? does everyone get these email requests?

we are officially off the subject of blogging and onto more randomization.

i just spent the morning bugging a child with autism. fun times. i was trying to work on getting him to acknowledge me and tell me "all done" or "goodbye" ... i swear i would have totally accepted a "get-the-hell-away-from-me-crazy-lady" ...

we found a nest of baby bunnies under the swingset. the dog thinks it's her job to get them. i'm not sure what she would DO with them ... but she watches and waits. and digs a little bit ... because the nest is about 2 feet from the end of her line. and the kids like to hover over the nest to see if it moves ... which it does ... but their lack of attention ALWAYS causes them to miss it and turn away at the very moment that it shifts. and then they cry.

um. not sure why i care so much about my baby bunnies? i have a garden. with vegetables. that we eat from all summer. and so. do. bunnies. oh the drama!

speaking of drama ... family drama. isn't it fun? we are taking a road trip with my in-laws this summer! yippee! to arkansas. my husband is a pilot. we get free airline travel. and we are road tripping it for a minimum of two days ... there. AND BACK. fun times will be had by all. i hear there is a diamond mine there, that you can dig around in and ... i'm totally gonna find the world's largest diamond. seriously. and then i will have to eat my words about the fun times thing i just said.

by the way ... anyone wanna take care of the dog while we are gone?

for more (apparently really funny... yet) random thoughts from other people that are probably on alltop and get hundreds of comments on each and every post ... visit keely at the unmom.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

any given day ...

a day in the life ... of me ...

(heads up ... picture filled post ...)

encouraged by this mama ... and this post which included this request ...
(which i know was so not directly targeted at me ... but i took the challenge and ran with it ... i'm a few days late in posting ... but i did photograph that particular day.)

and here it is ...
5:30:01 ... smack the snooze button

... get out of bed and stumble to the closet ...

... hop in the shower, get out, dry off, attempt to make myself presentable ...

... give up, a snap and a clap against my thigh to call dog to get out of bed (such a smart dog ... she knows sign language) ...

... gather kids clothing while they continue to sleep, laying it out for them ... sometimes feeling really lucky when the pants and shirts actually MATCH ... (meaning we did laundry recently) ...

... realized i didn't have enough time for the coffee to brew (or maybe that was just a lame-o excuse so that i could grab coffee) ...

... walk past the girls rooms clicking the lights on ...

... fed jazz ...

... realize i need to get the girls up. like ... now ...

... go to wake up stella to remind her that she wanted to call her boppa this morning ...

... realize that she's not in her bed and has already snuck out into the living room ...

... and called boppa without the reminder ...

... threw the girly-girls into their clothes ...

... let skye dog in and out ... again ... (i guess that would be out AND in ... not the opposite.)

... ushered children out the door and into the car ...

... stopped at caribou ...

... listened to MY radio station (no more - "baby blowing bubbles" and "mr. sun")...

... threw down my stuff and ran to a meeting ...

... came back to my room to drink my coffee ...

...and sort through emails and phone calls while listening to the radio ...

... turned off the radio ...

... ran walked down the hall to get run over by herds of children perform hall duty ... aka performed 29.3 outbursts of "PLEASE WALK" ... and "thank you for walking!" ...

... worked with 11 kiddos on speech and language stuff ...

... paperwork ...

... more paperwork ...

... ate lunch ... (and no i didn't take a picture of the school lunch ... ugh) ...

... probably more paperwork ... no kiddos since this was a testing afternoon ...

... jumped (eagerly) in the car to pick up the girly-girls from daycare ... ready for the 4 day weekend! ...

... came home and started an art project ...

... talked with boppa and lulu about plans for the evening ...

... finished eating ...

... quick pickup ... and got outside before night was settling in ...

... called stella over to help with some photo stuff ...

... saw lulu being silly with cora ...

... laughed ...

... stella didn't like that lulu was on HER trike ... um ... outburst from the girl that DOESN'T even fit on the trike anymore? ...

... watched a complete one-eighty take place within my oldest daughter ...

... moved everyone over to the swings ...

... time to go inside ... followed by screams of protest ...

... lulu and boppa left ...

... gathered up the girly-girls and headed upstairs for ...

... read books ... snuggled stella ... nursed cora ...

... everyone in bed and sleeping ...

... cleaned up the house before crashing onto my mattress ...

... overall ... a good day ... not necessarily one worth documenting in history ... but quite honestly ... those are probably the best ones ... and usually the ones most easily forgotten.

so i'm glad that i did this. to remember these little days.

(wanna try it too? let me know here if you play along! i'd love to see all of your day in the life challenges!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

what seemed so normal at the time ...

when i look back ... it seems slightly surreal.

but at the time felt so incredibly normal ... exciting - always ... but at-the-very-same-time ... normal.

growing up ... my best(est) friend and i spent countless hours in the vicinity of some very special people. her daddy was tied to the music industry ... somehow. i never really knew much more than that. we were given opportunities to meet celebrities and given tickets to practically every concert that came through the cities ... so many, in fact ... that i can hardly remember all of them.

there was the golden limo sent to pick us up for a concert ... complete with backstage passes ... to meet janet jackson. i even (still!) have the black leather jacket that i was given from the rhythm nation tour ... it's still hanging in my mom's closet ... my mom offers it to me every. time. that i say that i'm cold.

there was the time that we went to her dad's office ... and i remember watching cartoons and eating cookies (funny what a child actually remembers) ... at a big long table in a conference room. eventually weird al yankovic strutted in wearing a gigantic wig and a pair of the silly glasses/nose combos. apparently ... i remember thinking ... making himself appear so obviously dressed crazy that no-one would notice who he really was. i also remember him pulling up a chair next to sara and i ... and watching cartoons with us.

we were going to meet the new kids on the block ... and spent the entire afternoon studying magazines to make sure that we knew who was who. and then only 3 of them showed up ... and there was a large crowd of fans backstage ... so instead of running up and hugging them and gushing over them ... we enjoyed the bbq ... free food at the state fair? ... unheard of!

there were more, i know ... and i wish that i would have been slightly more observant of the fact that everyone didn't get to do this ... and that i should take more pictures and keep more of the momentos ... i know i have an autographed picture of the band kiss - somewhere ... and there are pictures of us with the above mentioned people ... but i wouldn't even know where to start looking. mom?

it feels somewhat sad ... and i'm not sure exactly why ... because i wish i could remember? ... or ... because i wonder how much that stuff would go for on ebay?

my favorite experience though ... was attending the star party ... a party thrown by a local radio station ... at a bar ... with what seemed like a ton of entertainers ... and ... we. were. so. tired. ...

sara and i ... probably around the age of 11? ... were laying our heads down on the bar ... sitting on barstools ... attempting to prop our eyelids open with the umbrella toothpicks ... i'm pretty sure we had requested a plate of cherries ... and kiddie cocktails ... while a huge (over age 21) crowd was dancing and googling over the celebrities walking around the club.

i remember being tapped on the back and having an (ohmygod he seemed so old at the time ... but was probably only in his late 40s?) ... guy sit down next to me and talk about how he wears glasses too. but doesn't when he's on stage ... i had no idea who he was.

he and another band member (we thought?) chatted with us ... finally telling us who they were after a good 20 minutes or so ... (the beach boys) ... we didn't really bat an eye ... in fact we continued to lay our heads on the bar, i'm sure. i remember how nice they were ... and i remember a blonde woman with a too-short-skirt muttering something to him (mike love) about how she used to live in kokomo. she was slurring a bit and i'm sure would have left the bar with him immediately if he had shown interest ... i also remember him rolling his eyes and turning back to talk to us.

i'm pretty sure that our ambivalence was exactly why they sat and talked with us all night ... until her dad peeled us off the bar and took us home. at the ripe old age of 11.

brushes with celebrity ... and i had no idea that it was ... what it was. until now ... when i look back and dust off those memories.

for more celebrity stories ... visit spriteskeeper and her spin cycle!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

because this is the one that y'all voted for ... i'm hitting publish. just like it is ... well, kinda ... the post titled ... clarity.


(which, initially, i thought was funny because it was titled clarity and the entire thing was completely blank. apparently ... my mind was very clear. hence ... the title ... clarity.)
(and now i'm kind of taking offense to the fact that most of you voted for the post in which ... i. didn't. write. anything. )
(are y'all trying to tell me something?)
(you'd rather see a post where i'm not writing anything ... at all?)
(i thought you guys maybe ... just maybe ... came here because of my writing.)
(or that maybe you were actually my ... friends?)
(do you just come here for the occasional pictures of cute kids?)
(fine, then.)
(are you happy now?)

(and for those of you that voted for the speech/poverty indicator ... and my baby's birth story -thank you keely, my bff - ... you'll get yours soon ... and all my love and thankfulness because you actually like to read what i write. and the rest of you don't, apparently. the end.)

(not the end. this was all in fun ... and i'm feeling guilty now because i even said it. NOW the end.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

wearing purple ... thinking purple ... and rtt ...

wearing purple for maddie and her parents today.
my purple shirt and donations ... just don't feel like enough.
(i'll post a picture later ... i completely forgot the cord that allows my camera to connect to the computer to show our purple support ... i promise ... it will come.)

and i'm thinking purple ...
and attempting to figure out if i can plant purple tulips to remind me each spring of maddie and the idea that i need to grasp every second that i can ... and hold tightly onto it ... because these seconds and minutes are fleeting. and oh-so-completely not guaranteed.
finally asking the know-it-all google and realizing that tulips must be planted in the fall ... and i'm so determined to get some purple out there to remind me every morning. so, i'm thinking that a purple hanging plant will have to do ... and puple hued tulip bulbs are on my must do list for the fall.

and because it's tuesday ... and i can hardly grasp random right now ... a random list of 15 crazy things that bring people to this little place in the blogging world dedicated to me and my family.

1. mamamamamamamamamamamammamamamamamamamamamama
-- this post gets hit more than any other post ... which i think means that cora's previously annoying "mama" over and over and over again ... is something that others related to? god, i miss that ...
2. yo mama jokes the average human will eat 8 spiders while sleeping, but yo mama will probably eat more
-- i don't even know what to say. i know absolutely NOTHING about yo mama jokes.
3. coconut belly
-- someone was looking for me! or else attempting to find out more about a diagnosis of coconut belly ... apparently there is such a thing.
4. lyrics spin cycle out this way
-- i'm thinking they were at the wrong place.
5. when to pick coconuts
-- ok, yep ... the wrong place ... nothing really coconuty here. and definitely no information about the picking of coconuts.
6. mamamamamamamamamamamamam
-- see ... i told you.
7. belly pushing
-- i don't really even want to ask.
8. peeky boo
-- lovely game, isn't it?
9. coconut belly
-- me, again!
10. coconut belly
-- and again!
11. mamamamamamamamamamamamam
-- did i mention the popularity of this post?
12. mamamamamamamamamamamamam
-- really ... not one of my best posts ...
13. coconut belly blog
-- i wonder if this is my husband forgetting the blog address when he's out of town.
14. crabbiest toddler
-- apparently i'm known for having the crabbiest toddler? awesome.
15. that's how i know that it's time to be great, lyrics
-- i don't know this song ... you'll have to check elsewhere.

head on over to keely's place ... for more random.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

because ...

last night ... i let my girly-girls take over. i followed their lead.

cora wanted to play in the sink. and proceeded to make a watery mess on the floor. her shirt and pants were soaking wet. socks too. i watched with love in my eyes. (and then helped her clean up the floor and the stool and the cupboard ...)

stella asked me (again) to play on the computer. the american girl website. i complied, willingly. happy to witness her ability to navigate the computer and try new things.

after dinner, they wanted to play outside. until bathtime. they begged for 10 more minutes? outside. please, mama? i finally dragged them in ... 10 minutes after we would have normally begun bath. chilled from the evening air and plunked them into a warm bathtub. (and yes ... that is cora in the swing!)

i cuddled them for every single minute that we had last night.

i kissed them upon their foreheads. even after they were asleep. not worrying if it would wake them.

i glanced into their rooms, watching them sleep ... gazing at their chests rising and falling ... steadily.

i put myself to bed ... with tears in my eyes for a mama that can't do the same. i cannot get this family out of my head ...

and i cannot believe how amazing of a community this is ... that i am proud to be a part of. maddie's story has restored my faith in people. so thank you all for showing me how compassionate and caring the world really is.

and on a sidenote ... i have a friend with a brand new baby that has asked me to take her children's pictures tomorrow. not a photographer thing ... but just a friend thing ... she said that she has always loved the pictures that i get of her kids. eek! how fun does that sound? and how silly does my makeshift backdrop look up there? i need the honest truth, please! it's obviously not perfect ... (it's a sheet hanging from my entertainment center in my living room ... with no lighting) ... just my picture window. but ... will it do? any suggestions on how to make it better?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


it seems that anything that i attempt to write or anything that i attempt to read ...
after hearing, this morning, of a mommy and a daddy that lost her little daughter. maddie. a seventeen month old beautiful little girl ... with a smile that could keep the sun shining.

madeline alice spohr

perspective. it really just throws everything into perspective.

and there are really no other words that i can offer them, except ...
i'm sorry.
i'm sending the family peace across the miles. and support. because that's something that i (and we) can do.

her family has asked that donations be made to the march of dimes in her name. i have seen the donation number rise several thousand dollars this morning. it's amazing what we can do ... together.

keep this family in your thoughts and prayers. please.

a sense of urgency.

the other night ... as we slunk back inside ... not quite tired out enough from a few quick races around the yard ... several ups and downs on the slide ... and the attempt to get cora to sit. in. the. swing. (not sure why she's not having any of that thus far this spring?) ...

i realized this overwhelming sense of urgency that is stirring in me.

i want to get my hands dirty.

my little garden is calling to me. it's begging me to start digging in the dirt. and beckoning me to deposit little seedlings in the soil. it's requesting that the husband stretch it out (just... a... little ... bit... farther...) into the yard this year.

i think starting seeds would be a (wintertime - early spring-ish) passion for me. i would love to watch little greens spout out just above the dark damp earth ... in small little cups or handy egg cartons. i would love to know that i started them. to know that i guided them. (is that silly? a bit like having children?)

but i can't. or don't. (i'm not sure which.)

i have a fear that the cats would wreak havoc on the little greens in cups designed to be easily tipped and trampled across the wooden floors. i don't have enough room in this little house for me and the kids and the husband (part-time) and the animals ... AND baby plants who need sunlight. or artificial light in the form of lamps that i just don't have the room for.

so i settle for friends and neighbors that start little seedlings. and share their wealth. and i think that this option is just as lovely, because i tend to think of these friends all season long when the peapods are nourishing my family. or when my girls are peeling baby tomatoes from the plentiful plants for months, popping them into their mouths like candy.

and i settle for stopping by nurseries and exploring ... finding the little plants that my garden is ever-so-patiently waiting for. often buying too many or too much. and yet ... always finding room for them in pots and wagons and on the porch.

for now ... i reach ... often ... for the catalogs and books that sit upon shelves. flipping through their pages and dreaming of bigger gardens and more time.
and as the snow coats the brown grass (for ... please-oh-please ... let it be the last time ...) and the temperatures sway from warm to cold and back again ...

my little garden calls out to me ... and i whisper back ... soon ...


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

ra-ra-ra-ra-ra means randomization.

ready for the randomization?today marks my 200th post ... ost ost ost ost. (that was an echo ... in case you were wondering.)

and if anyone is counting ... apparently it's really only 192 ... and that 200 number really does include those eight to-be-edited posts that are currently sitting in an unfinished bloggy state.

shall i describe them for you?

one is entitled ... not sure yet. and consists of me explaining that i LOVE my husband. and discussion about being the wife of a pilot. apparently, he must have done something pretty spectacular that day ... and then proceeded to piss me off the next day, so therefore ... i never hit publish.

another is cora's unfinished birth story. we'll get there. someday. i promise. it's just a really hard one for me to finish writing. i was having trouble conveying the speed and overwhelming sense of rush in her birth. it's hard to get out in words.

we have another one entitled ... wait for it. clarity. and it has absolutely NO words. which cracks me up because ... apparently, my mind was actually REALLY clear that day.

there is a lonely post in which i hoped to thank people for the awards handed out to me ... and i had so much difficulty just finding the awards that people had sent over that i never could do all the linkage and finding of the awards and the posting ... i just took a nap instead. (note ... if you have sent an award or something that i have never responded to or posted ... let me know in the comments here! you'll save me heaps of time. and i will be eternally thankful. and i will give you a double entry on my next giveaway ... coming up here soon!)

there is another entry about a awesome organization ... that down-to-earth mama shared ... the girl effect. i really wanted to share it ... and haven't gotten my thoughts out about it yet. it really affected me from a mama of girls perspective. and made me see the whole forest and tree thing. well ... that and i could not for the life of me figure out how to get a video imbedded. argh.

there is an ABC meme ... filled completely out and then realized that i think i had already done it. yep. so i didn't post it. not like anyone was actually reading when i did it the first time! oh wait ... apparently instamom was the only one reading at that time!

and a 25 things meme that originated from a friend is facebook. and then i remembered that i'm really not that exciting. and i had already squeaked my way through a 100 things post. i came up with two for my list o' 25 that day ... one ... i have a bird and unfortunately i never took into account children and naptime when acquiring him (oops.) and two ... i have two kids ... uh ... that's where i stopped because ... um ... can you say BORING?

and finally ... another ... where i provided everyone with a statistic that is probably only interesting to speech-language pathologists out there. basically that the vocabulary of children that are good readers is estimated to be over 20,000 words. and in children that are struggling with reading ... vocabulary is estimated to be under 5,000. which is a 15,000 word difference! not to mention the fact that, it was noted that strength in vocabulary has also proven to be a predictor of poverty. see? that's why i never hit publish.

random? maybe. (there's plenty more random if you click on the RTT button up there at the top!)

and if you want me to go on in, edit a bit and hit publish on any one of those ... you just let me know!

hey ... i know! maybe we'll have a contest to see which one y'all are most interested in! and if no one comments on this post ... i'm just gonna assume that none of them sound interesting and i'll just have to come up with something better ...

but give me a few days.
shit this awesome takes time, y'all.

Monday, April 6, 2009

a re-evaluation of sorts ...

hasay much? if you have no idea what i'm talking about ... head over here to find out.

it's week 24. and as y'all probably know. i haven't kept up. i haven't kept up with the weight loss. i haven't kept up with the posting about it. i haven't kept up with my goals to work out.

and i've come to a realization.

i NEED to do this. now.
i need to do it for myself. my kids. my husband.
i need to do it to stay healthy.

i'm so incredibly sick of losing and gaining the same amount of weight over and over again. obviously i'm doing something wrong.

so ... i've re-evaluated and this is what i've come up with. i need to use what i have. i need to set realistic goals for myself. i need to be proud of what i do, not just how much i lose.

i started this back here saying ... ah hell ... i'm just gonna copy and paste it in ... i need the reminder. (this is all about me folks ... thanks for reading ... but it's really all about me.)

so my "friend", jen "at" steenkybee, "alerted" me to another "blogger" that is "hosting" a weight-loss "club".

sorry about the unnecessary quotations...i just read a funny blog about unnecessary quotations...and as soon as i started with the "friend" thing...i couldn't help myself. it's my whacked sense of humor, i guess. you are totally allowed to ignore that first paragraph. but you must pay attention to the rest...there might be a quiz.

i have been in a really difficult place with myself lately. i love myself. i really do.

this body was able to create and birth two gorgeously beautiful blue-eyed blondies. with no meds. no meds. i'm very proud of myself for that.

this body got me a terrific husband. (or maybe that was just my personality and brains. who knows?) but still, a husband that loves me irregardless of what i look like.

this body is me.

but i don't like what it looks like anymore.

i'm loved. but i want to love what i look like. it's a completely selfish desire. but one that i want to accomplish.

so i'm jumping into the club. i've heard rumors that they will kick my ass into gear. is that what she said in the email? sounds harsh. but maybe i don't need anyone quietly motivating me. maybe this is just what i need. here's my first assignment.

side note...why can't everyone not use capital letters? i hate having to erase and correct all those damn capital letters when i cut and paste. seriously...time, folks! i don't have a lot of it!

first assignment:
write and publish a blog post on your site detailing the following information:

what motivates you and why do you want to do this challenge?
motivations...the desire to never have to be tested for diabetes. the desire to love what i look like in the mirror. the desire to run around the yard with my kids. the desire to have my husband think he just acquired a trophy wife. why?...cause i want to love myself more than i already do. because my mom and her 2 sisters all have diabetes...and i don't want to prick my fingers.

what is your long term goal?
i want to wear a size 10. or 8. that's 3 (or 4) sizes folks. i realistically think i can get there with perseverance. and less eating out.

what is your long term weight loss goal?
i have no idea what the above will look like in poundage. i'm guessing 25-30 pounds?

what tools are available to you?
i have a membership at curves that is ending this month. which is good. i haven't been getting there. my time with my girls was too precious, already. husband will be bringing home my elliptical machine from another location (borrowed to someone else, when i got the curves membership). i have a dog. i have the girly-girls. i have trails in the valley. i also have winter rearing it's vicious head. so...i have an elliptical machine.

how often can you exercise?
i want to her description here...she called us fatties. just for that...i'm gonna exercise 5 mornings per week.

what do you plan on doing?
my plan is to set my alarm for 5:45. i will not hit snooze. i will start a pot of coffee and go downstairs on my elliptical machine for at least 20 minutes. i will do 10 sit-ups (for starters). and then i will shower and get ready, before the girls get up. then, i'm not wasting the time that i have with them.
my eating plan, is to call my friend (a dietician) and ask for some suggestions. she's amazing and beautiful and highly recommends chocolate. but in moderation. i want her to help me.

what has worked for you in the past?
i've never had to work for it. in the was easy. i rode up to 5 horses a day. i ate whatever i wanted. i occasionally pulled out my yoga for abs dvd.
what hasn't worked in the most recent workouts that bore me, eating whatever i want, not caring, being too busy to eat healthy and not having people there to kick my ass.

i think i need the ass-kicking, everyone. so...i'm gonna post in my side-bar my weight loss. every week. (which means i need to buy a scale.) i might just need y'all to keep the motivation going.

wait...don't help.
just keep kicking my ass until i reach my goal.

oh yeah. no quiz. just wanted to keep you on your toes.


... so that was then. this is what i want now.

i want to lose 2-3 pounds this week. (and next week i'll probably say the same thing. you've been forewarned ... although that will hopefully be in addition to the 2-3 lost this week.) it's going to be a week by week thing for me. i want to exercise 3-4 times this week. i will calculate all calories consumed monday to friday when i have a computer at my fingertips. i will watch myself on saturday and sunday. i will beg my friend for some advice in the nutrition department. i will beg another friend to give me fitness advice. i will include the girly-girls. because i don't ever want them to have to go through this. i want them to know a healthy lifestyle. and i want them to know that they are beautiful. just because they are ... not because of inches and sizes and numbers.

so ... now i need to find a happy medium between teaching the girls to be healthy and teaching them to love themselves. argh. no one ever said this was easy, right?

i also need you to give me your advice ... please?

i need to know how to fit the exercise in ... (almost) everyday.
and i need to know what you all eat to fill yourself up so that you aren't starving by dinner ... when you are armed with the knowledge that you only have about 500 calories left for the afternoon/evening.

spill it ... folks!

and honey ... remember that time that you said you didn't really want a trophy wife after reading that old post? and how you just really wanted me to be healthy and happy? thank you for that.

Friday, April 3, 2009

not here ... over there ...

i'm not here today ...
i'm over here ... guest posting at the dayton time ...

i offered to give pamela a little bit of a break while she was "cranking out number four" (her words ... not mine.)

and then i managed to make myself apparently invisible. (well ... now ... we've since realized that to each other ... we are just considered spam.) and so not the spam of minnesota heritage.
(really ... that link takes you to spam dot com ... no joke ... there's even a spam fan club. now we know. life can go on.)

really what i'm trying to say ... is not about spam ... i got sidetracked ... it's about how pamela and i couldn't get in touch with each other.
and then she had her baby and i totally stressed that she was thinking i was ignoring her request and i was thinking that maybe she didn't REALLY want me to post ...but now ... we're all good. whew.
and i've decided to give everyone over there a few examples of a first born little in comparison to the fourth born little in a family.

and i make the claim to have absolutely no true knowledge of this ... so this may be complete falsehood. you've been warned. please consult a medical professional with any questions. these results are not typical. please eat and drink responsibly. and look both ways before you cross the street. the end.

now go and check her out! she's all kinds of wonderful!

and so is jen of steenky bee ... who gave me a wonderful shout out in her guest post ... which was posted the day before me ... and made me feel lotsa nervous because wow. it's like being the younger sibling to a mensa member. it is so hard to confidently follow a professional like steenky ... so i suggest that you run on over there and make me feel less incompetent. thanks in advance.

(and you can totally skip the first few paragraphs ... 'cause i'm so awesome at copying and pasting. and you pretty much just got that here. but that doesn't mean that you can skip the jump on over there. i'm watching you. you've been warned.)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

tick tock ... tick tock ...

i LOVE having paid time off.

because on a day like today, when i found out ...
that my best(est) friend evah ... and her husband ... and her (almost) one-year old daughter ... are coming into town (yay!) for her cousin's funeral (boo-hoo.) ...

and they are staying with me ... oops ... i mean, us ...

i was able to sneak out of work two hours early to come home and write this blog post ... oops ... i mean, clean ...

all before picking up the girly-girls ...

and i'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to someone that we haven't seen in quite some time around here ... everyone please welcome ...

SUNSHINE! and her faithful companion ... BLUE SKIES!

we are ALL very excited to see them ... (and here is where i attempt to make this a cohesive post) ... all of them (our friends AND the sun).

next up ... green grass. everything outside has been a wee bit too ugly to take pictures of ... i CANNOT wait for it to green up a little around here.

(this post is being submitted as an attempt to actually complete a spin cycle again around here ... confused? head on over to see spriteskeeper. she will make it all so much clearer. i promise.)