Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cal's Birthday Party

Cal's 5th birthday party at Bounce U
More Superheroes than a boy could ever imagine!

Cousin Hannah! (are those eyes gorgeous?)

Cousin Cade and Big Bro

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Lunch for Brunch Kind of Day...

I woke up
in tears this morning.

I had a dream about my mom.

This anniversary is
really getting to me.

Get the oldest off to school
and load the monkey and the ellebelle in the car.

Head to the ASU bookstore to get a t-shirt
for my brother-in-law's birthday.

Carefully pull my big, bad Tahoe
into the made-for-mini coupe space and
start scavenging through my seats for change
for the parking meter. 35 cents...great. I've got 13 minutes.

On our way in, an 18-ish looking guy (probably a psych major)
with purple shoes, carrying one of those really big skateboards,
calls me "Mam."

Ok...not happy about this!
Wasn't it not that long ago that I was napping in the MU between classes?
NO! It was 13 years ago! Dang...I'm older than I thought!
Thanks, cool dude with the long board, for reminding me I really am OLD.

14 minutes later,
with a bag full of Sparky this and Sparky that
(I didn't have time to argue with the kiddos. I'm on the clock here.),
I head back to the car.

Cal, afraid of "The Police,"
spies a security guy checking out my meter.
He starts to cry, turn tail, and run.
Quick as I am, I snatch the monkey before he escapes,
grab the ellebelle, scoop them up,
along with my Sparky paraphernalia,
and run toward the parking meter.

After five minutes of convincing this power hungry
"security (seriously who's he kidding)" guy that my meter JUST ran out,
I got off scot-free!
Thank goodness I put on makeup and wore the tight jeans...
apparently not TOO old!

On my way home,
I call my sis to double-check if the size XXL Tshirt I got Casey will fit.
"Uh-no way!" Crap, back to the bookstore tomorrow for an exchange!
Am I the only woman on earth terrible at sizing up men?

Exhausted, I get home, fall to the couch,
and flip on MSNBC for a little convention coverage.

Ring, Ring...I hate it when my home phone rings...
It is never good,
nor anyone I care to talk to.

"This is the nurse at school."
Oh, great...can't be good.

"It is Brunch for Lunch day today."
She laughs.

"Max has managed to get syrup on his clothes and needs a change."
Well, I couldn't have guessed this.

"What does he need? A shirt?"

"Max, do you need your mom to bring you socks and shoes, too?"
Is she kidding?

"He just needs a shirt and shorts."

Ok. Wake the ellebelle and throw her back into the car.

I walk through the door and see Max sitting in the hallway,
eating french toast sticks,
grinning from ear to ear.
Behind him, also smiling, the nurse and principal.
Apparently, he has them under his spell.
He is covered from chest to knees in syrup.

The nurse swears is was an accident,
but I know better.

I have inside information into this little boy
and this was, in no way,
an accident.

I hand Max his clothes, give him my look.
You know the one, Moms.
The one that says, we will deal with this at home later...
later, when I will say things to you that,
when I come to my senses, I will feel guilty about.

Yeah...I'll see you at home little man.

Finally, I get home. It is 1:00. It is just one of those days...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Why write?

Just the other day I found myself, once again, explaining to someone why I blog. The truth is, before I started, I hadn't really realized that something that had always been part of my life had been absent for quite some time. When I started this page- started typing away and letting friends, as well as strangers, into some intimate parts of my life, I felt a little renewed.
I used to be an avid know, the late-nighters, the tubs upon tubs of supplies, and of course the $$...all to document my kids' lives forever. Well, it all became too much, too overwhelming. But, a big part of my scrapbooking was journaling. I loved to write long, detailed stories about our lives. I guess those scrapbooks became my writing outlet. I missed it.
Blogging has brought me back. I love to let the world know what goes on in my little world. Sharing the silly, cute kid stories allows me to be a little indulgent and celebrate my little kiddos. And...writing about the struggles and tragedies allow me to move forward, a little bit at a time. Sharing details about my mom frees me to let go of the sadness. I want the world to know who she was.
My mom was an amazing writer. She loved language and she had even penned the first line of the novel she would one day write. Some of the most beautiful, enlightened poetry flowed out of her. Everything was exquisite, from the carefully chosen words to the absolute perfect handwriting. She had the most beautiful handwriting I have ever seen! She was, in every sense...a WRITER. I don't have quite the gift she had, but I surely have the desire and innate need to put pen to paper. Thanks, Mom.

We drank


in our coffee-house days

and listened to Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti


what we already knew.

We boycotted

college classes and grapes



Jack Kerouac


an unchartered highway.

And now,

(stuffed to middle-class perfection)

we search

the eyes of strangers

for the

soul of a revolutionary.

~written by my mom (the forever hippie)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dentist Trip #2

One more extraction later...
One more crown later...
One more appointment next week...
poor little guy!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy birthday, my little monkey!

My little monkey turns 5! Cal is a strong minded little boy. He came into the world that way. Labor with him was hard and fast. He popped out weighing 9 1/2 lbs., holding his head up as if to say, "What took so long...I'm here...let's go!" In some ways, Cal is just like me...introspective, thoughtful, analytical. In other ways, he couldn't be less like me...the way he stands his ground, never to fall to peer no way a "people pleaser!" I will never worry about Cal's judgement. He WILL be a leader! Happy Birthday, Calvin! I love you!
Meet Stephanie and Christian Nielson.
I don't know them personally, but feel like Stephanie is a friend. For the last year, I have been an avid reader of her blog, checking it everyday, looking forward to a new post of her lovely life. She is beautiful, funny, and has the sweetest, purest style. She is mommy to four adorable little ones and hopelessly in love with her husband, Christian. Sadly, on Saturday, they were in a serious small-plane crash in eastern az. The flight instructor on board passed away and Stephanie and Christian are very seriously injured and recovering at the burn center at Maricopa County Medical Center. Desperately feeling the need to do something, I have added a "Donate To NieNie" button to the right that her family has provided. Please make a donation to go toward the costly medical bills that will await this family. The financial burden that accompanies an accident or illness is a sad reality and any little bit can help.
If you'd like to learn more about Stephanie, visit her blog (click the "I read NieNie" button) and I am sure you will fall in love with her and her family just as I have!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dancing Queen

Yesterday was Elle's first day at dance. She got dressed early in the morning, carried her dance bag around her neck all day, and even napped in her tap shoes. When the time finally arrived, Elle was elated. I was a bit worried because she can freeze up sometimes around strangers, but Elle took to dance like a pro. She followed the teacher's instructions so well and did it with a huge grin on her face. When it was over, Elle told me, "The teacher told me to shake my bootie and I did and nobody laughted at me!"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mom's Presence

As the anniversary of my mom's death approaches, you'll have to bear with me. Memories of my mom are flooding my mind lately and I desperately feel the need to set them free. Whenever I feel the need, I will share them with you.
It has been 341 days since I last saw my mom alive and spoke to her. Actually I still speak to her often, but it is mostly me asking for her to let me know she is there. Max says that he talks to her and she talks back. I am jealous of my little boy. I think she probably does talk to him. He misses her so much and doesn't have any of the questions or uncertainty I can't seem to let go of. I have convinced my son that Grandma is in Heaven, but by his side always, even though he can't see her. He has no doubt. He is satisfied with that. Why can't I be? My sister has had dreams about her. My mom told us she would visit us in our dreams. I am still waiting. They say that when you lose someone, time makes it easier. I find the opposite true. The more time that passes, the less you can trick your mind. I can't pretend she'll be coming back...that she is on a long vacation.
A couple of years ago, my parents started building their cabin in the mountains- it was to be their retirement getaway. My mom was able to enjoy it for about a year. She is in every inch of that place, from the "Cabin, this way!" sign on the porch to every patchwork quilt carefully and perfectly chosen for every room. She kept a collection of stuffed bears in a rustic canoe in one of the rooms that the kids look forward to playing with on each visit. She filled it with Grandma's love. She dreamed of spending days on the porch with my dad, watching her grand kids play in the late-afternoon summer rain.
Last week, that is just what we did. I feel my mom's presence most when I am at her cabin. That must be where she is spending most of her time. When I begin to feel I am losing faith that she is still close by, relaxing in the mountains renews it once again.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Unfortunate Trip To The Dentist...

They do! They really do! Although today's 2 hour visit to the dentist and the extensive bill afterward would lead one to believe otherwise, my kids really do brush their teeth!!

My poor, groggy, numbed-up boys are laying on the couch, eating ice-cream, and watching the Three Stooges videos Grandpa gave them. They are surprisingly in good spirits, probably the result of the brand new packs of baseball cards I bought for them on the way home from Dr. Miner's office: a peace offerring paid out of guilt for putting them in that dentist chair.

An Hour Ago:
Cal and Max endured the following:

Nitrous Oxide
4 pulpotomy/pulpectomy (yes, they are as bad as they sound!)
4 stainless steel crowns
2 fillings
2 extractions (yes, they were yanked!)

I hope this post will serve as a PSA to all mommies out there...
Don't miss even one of your 6 month check-ups because in that short time a small cavity can turn into a painful and costly problem (and in our case, 14 of them.) Take it from my boys. In spite of the missed day of school and the hefty $ they should receive from the Tooth Fairy, they probably could have done without all the hassle and discomfort.

Now, only one more visit next week and we'll be done. Yes, the work mentioned above was only the left sides of their mouths!

Monday, August 11, 2008

1st Day

Max and Cal both started school today. Max is in the 2nd grade and has a fabulous teacher. Cal is beginning Young Learners (pre-kinder) and also has a great teacher. They were both all smiles this morning, ready to go!

Cutest Little Party Cakes!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sofia!

Today Sofia turned 3 years old. Fia, as we call her, and Elle are very close. You can see, even as babies, they were quite a pair! Happy Birthday, Fia! We love you!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Jersey Shore...

Some great moments from the kids' New Jersey vacation...

Monday, August 4, 2008

elle's blankie

From the time my kids are little I collect all of their baby pajamas and clothes. I cut squares out of the clothing to later use in a blanket. Elle has been patiently waiting for her own blanket and has been sleeping with her brother's for the past couple of months. Well, this morning I finished sewing Elle's blanket. She is so happy to finally have it!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Baseball Fan!

Max is such a lucky boy! His dad took him to a Philadelphia Phillies game on Sunday night. Despite a two-hour rain delay, Max had a blast. He is completely obsessed with baseball, knows every player, knows their stats, and can tell you every team a player has ever played on. So, needless to say, he was thrilled to get to see a game while in Philadelphia. He sat in the third row and caught the eye of one of the Brave's players. Mark Kotsay threw his batting gloves up to Max. From that moment on, Max kept those gloves on!