Friday, May 28, 2010

Photo Friday: Black & White

I have been wanting to participate in Calliope's Photo Fridays for a while -- so finally, I am doing so.

This week's theme, black & white, is one of my favorites. I love the textures that come out. And you can tell I love B&W a lot as my header photo is a wonderful print from a recent photo shoot.

Here is an old photo (from 2 years ago) of Michael in his Halloween Costume. I like how the B&W makes it even more creepier. I love how it shows off the texture of the lace.

To find more information about photo Fridays (as well as the code for a sidebar or post graphic) you can go here.

The Wonders in front of me

Sometimes I totally forget the wonders in front of my eyes. This morning, for some reason, I paused and looked. My little girl, naked in front of me. Long and lank, spindley and wirey. How did she grow so big, so quick? Where is that little baby of just a few months ago? As usual, I cannot fathom how this little person came from within me.

My son comes out to wish me good bye for the day. Often, he is too busy with breakfast or with watching cartoons to really acknowledge my departure. But sometimes--sometimes he surprises me with the love he has for me, the compassion he can show and the need he has for me still. Looking at him, I see such a handsome young man blossoming. He goes back inside, and waves to me from the kitchen window.

And I am amazed, yet again, at what life can bring to me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

We are all at a concert. An alternative rock band that my husband and I shared when we were in college and when we moved out on our own...a band that started to make children's music about the time we had our first child. Now we are all here for a benefit family concert...

And time whirls around me. They play new songs and old songs from both their children-oriented albums and from adult albums too. At certain points confetti is sprayed out into the audience and we are covered in colorful pieces of paper...only fitting as I hear and can see the multiple facets of my life before me.

The children enjoy the son remembering songs from when he was little, enjoys the new songs. Quietly sitting and listening. My daughter jumps about and throws left over confetti while she dances to the music. I dance with her at times and at other times I just watch and listen as my life unfolds before my eyes.

More Perfect Moments Here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

At Last

Down to the basement. Searching for the box. The box hidden away for so long, but never forgotten. The box lovingly packed away for a time "in the near future". The box found, opened. Musty smells and colorful clothes, some toddler toys. Going through the clothes, memories and hurt intermix. Putting some of the clothes aside, the toys and the rest of the clothes are re-packed and put away.

The future has finally come. And I am finally washing some of Michael's toddler clothes to use as hand-me-downs for Willow.

Status of Life in the Household

Gabrielle – (Otherwise known as “the Cat” “kitty cat!” “cat down” “hey, Gabby” “down!” “don’t” “kitty…kitty…kitty”): She has gotten a nervous habit of licking herself in her nether regions—to the point there is no hair down there. Not that one doesn’t mind the grooming—but the extra hairballs ain’t so fun. Reading up on this condition, we think she is a bit bored/anxious/not getting enough exercise. So, it has been finally agreed upon—Gabby needs a friend (this was a tough one to get Husband on board for—I had originally wanted to get Michael a kitten for his birthday this year). So, we are going to adopt another cat, preferably another shelter cat, preferably a 6 month old kitten. Probably wait until after our annual vacation to Cape Cod…

Congo – (Otherwise known as “the Turtle” “the Forgotten One”) – Needs some new food. And wants a cleaned tank—will he get it this weekend? Who knows? (Oh, and those claws need to be trimmed!)

Michael – (Otherwise known as “Michael, Michael…Michael…are you listening? Michael? Michael….”): School is winding down, and summer approaches. But, before school is over this year, the touring of the MIDDLE school has to occur. I just got a notice yesterday about a Parent meeting with the Middle School principal to talk about the transition of the 5th graders to 6th grade. Michael needs to practice his clarinet more and work on his Fantasy World project (a school project based on the class reading of Bridge to Terabitha). Looking forward to summer—he has a Wizards and Warriors Gaming camp that he is going to for July and this weekend we bought him (at the Ren Faire, of course) an elfin cloak and swashbuckler hat (with feather!). Now he just has to start thinking about his character he wishes to play….

Willow – (Otherwise known as “Willow Dillow” “Squishy Girl” “get down from there!” “Oh, Please Child!” “good lord, Willow, did you have to get into that?!!”): She is having issues with wanting things she can’t have. Like being outside ALL THE TIME. Like wearing shoes that cause her blisters. Like having things to eat and drink that only grown ups have. Basically—she is two years old and loving it! Her goals for this summer—swing as much and as many times as she can; discover bugs and put them in things; and to get into EVERYTHING.

Me & Husband – Hanging in there, little bits of sanity leaking out our ears. We are trying to clean up the house a bit (recycling, getting rid of and generally letting go of various things hoarded away), make minor and major-ish repairs, while the chaos is going on all around us. (Oh and work too)

This weekend, husband is being Game Master for a Role Playing game; Saturday I am going to an all day Scrapbooking session…and then Sunday, we are going to go to a TMBG’s concert. So, yeah--we still have good priorities -- having fun despite the chaos!

Good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Growing Pains

I see him struggle with his thoughts and feelings and wish I could do more. He is reserved. Then he is frenetic (nature of the hyperactivity; nature of introspection). He is teased sometimes. Sometimes he says inappropriate things at inappropriate times (nature of not knowing social pragmatics; nature of being a pre-teen). Sometimes he acts so mature and helpful that I forget he is only eleven. Sometimes he acts like he is six. He is struggling, but he is fine. He is fine, but he is hurt, but he is happy, but he is sad. He is a mixture of my husband and I. He is my husband's clone; he has my eyes and nose. I don't understand him, but yet I do. I am as mixed up about him as he is about life. And it is only beginning...

She is demanding. "Go here" "Sit here" "I want that" "Milk!" "Juice!" "Shoes!" Sometimes please and thank you are used. Most times she has to be reminded. She got her first blisters on her heels yesterday. Shoes that do not quite fit yet, but soon will. Outfits from last summer--one is definitely too small; the other, the shorts fall off of her. Her hair is becoming a style of sorts. Sometimes it is up, other times (because I don't know how to fix up little girl's hair) it is down. She is becoming mischevious and knowing. She is jumping off the bottom stairs, but trips and sometimes waddles again on smooth ground. One of her baby dolls is smeared with toothpaste, the many applications and attempts shown on this poor doll's eyes and mouth. Sometimes I find myself thinking she is older than she is--her eyes and her thoughts open to me. Sometimes I remember that she doesn't know what she knows, and neither do I. She sings ABCs and knows the color blue. And she has discovered bugs. She gets frustrated and throws tantrums and I wonder when it will end--and then I bemoan that fact that this is only a phase, and soon enough she will be out of it and onto new stages...she is on the edge of a whole world opening up to her.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

Moment #1: She is swinging. She loves to swing. We are at a park and our friend is pushing the swing. There is a regular swing next to her swing. I take the opportunity to be able to swing next to my daughter. At first, she is surprised. As we swing back and forth, side by side, I watch her face light up. I feel the wind and the movement and I remember being a child--I loved to swing. And I look over and see my young doppleganger. And she is smiling at me.

Moment #2: We go out together to get new clothes for the summer. This is only the second time he has "helped" to shop for his clothes (the first time was for school this year). He is starting to have a style that he likes, different than mine. I let him pick out some shirts that he likes. And then, just as I muse how grown up he is becoming...he asks if I could finish shopping while he goes looking in the toy aisle.

More Perfect Moments Here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Random Blurry Photos

Sometimes even my super small camera/videocamera is not available at times I need to record cool things...

So, here are some blurry photos!

After going to see Ir.onM.an2, Michael went upstairs for a long time (we decided to watch the first movie again--which is on in background there...). He came down with a makeshift IM costume.

The mask is part of a Darth Vader mask, the torso is a his torso guard from his sparing gear, the yellow "heart/energy thingee" is a sparing toy I got him years ago (its like laser tag with fist straps)

This was a few weeks ago--Michael looking around Ca.fe. He used to go there as a small child and it was so interesting to see him re-looking at stuff...(of course, its really dark there!)

Willow's favoritest outfit right now. A friend got it for her for her B-day. (its the outfit sans the onesie underneath). She wore it to bed the other night. Dad mistakenly did not put it into the hamper the next morning, so in the evening she found it again and insisted on wearing it! (I was able to pry her out of it by bedtime)

Throwing rocks into a pond.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

Moment #1: My gift from my husband and daughter - I am upstairs taking a spa bath (complete with facial mask). From downstairs I hear them singing together--Happy Birthday, then the ABC song, then If you Happy and you know it, then another round of the ABC song...giggling and singing drift up to my sanctuary and make me smile and miss them and I hurry my "time to myself" so that I can be with them.

Moment #2: He hops into our bed at 6 a.m. and snuggles in, hugging me tightly. He whispers "Happy Mother's Day" and I tell him he has made this day special for me every year...he was and is the first in my heart. And he then snuggles and falls asleep some more. Later he hurriedly brings up breakfast and a rain stick he made for me...but those gifts are nothing in comparison.

More Perfect Moments Here.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Listening and Thinking

I have been listening to some n.p.r. that have gotten me to thinking. I love books, movies and pods that get me to think about my life and the world around me, to get me out of my funk about daily troubles or trials and to think the big overalls. Here are a couple of quotes I heard that affected me this week:

"I don't believe in an afterlife. I don't believe in a single or multiple godhead. I respect people who do, but I don't believe it myself. But there's a big 'but' which enters in here. I am much more conscious than I ever was — for obvious reasons — on what it will mean to people left behind once I'm dead. It won't mean anything for me. But it will mean a lot to them. It's important to them — by which I mean my children or my wife or my very close friends — that some spirit of me is in a positive way present in their lives, in their heads, in their imaginations and so on. So [in] one curious way I've come to believe in the afterlife — as a place where I still have moral responsibilities, just as I do in this life — except that I can only exercise them before I get there. Once I get there, it will be too late. So, no God. No organized religion. But a developing sense that there's something bigger than the world we live in, including after we die, and we have responsibilities in that world." - Tony Judt, from a Fresh Air interview (Judt is a historian who is suffering from ALS--he was talking through a respirator and amplifier)

"I believe that when we permit ourselves to fear, we negate the chance we are each given to contribute through the unique patterns of our respective lives to the meaning and validity of all life. I believe that in merely being alive we have a tremendous responsibility, and that the responsibility is not only to our separate selves but to one another.

I believe it is in fear that we commit the crimes of intolerance and prejudice and what seems to me to be perhaps the saddest, most grave crime of all, our resistance to change. Afraid, we fail to see that the change is the natural and good fruit of knowledge and growth. We cling to the familiar because it is familiar and seems, therefore, to be secure. We butcher the unfamiliar and slaughter justice with the same stroke. Frightened, we seek love only for ourselves and forget to search for love in ourselves." - Phyllis Kirk, from the original This I Believe series (click to read/hear)

Thursday, May 06, 2010


Couple weekends ago, took the kids bowling. I think it was the second time Willow has ever been in a bowling alley, first time she took an interest. This is kind of unfamilar bowling to us--its candlepin bowling, very New England, versus the midwest BIG bowling balls/pins that my husband and I are used to. But for the kids, its perfect. And Willow LOVED it! (and she scored better than me--beginners luck!)

Her biggest problem was that sometimes she did not throw hard enough, so the ball SLOWLY went down the lane...and sometimes just stopped. A few times Michael needed to walk down the lane to get the ball, sometimes I threw another ball to hit it like billards.

It had been about a year since we did "real" bowling (Wii Bowling--I kick ass!). It was fun and I will have to remember to take them more often!

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Plan 2010: April Update

So far the stressful part of my life has been even more prevalent of late (like, say ramped up 1000%). BUT, despite all of the stressfulness, I have kept to some of my goals for the Plan.

I have lost 3 more pounds, and I am continuing exercising in the morning, although not always as LONG as I want to. I have not been as successful in keeping up with the Wii in the evening, although I have still averaged about 2 nights a week. (In fact, tonight, I am intending to do some WiiFiting)

I am making more meals at home and bringing my lunches more to work. I am eating less portions and I am trying to eat more veggies.

I have made some progress on de-cluttering the house, but then we had Willow's Birthday and Birthday party--and more clutter was made!

As usual, in my life, it seems we take 2 steps forward and 4 steps back.

But, I am trying to focus on the good things in life and find the happiness within. And while Willow can be a rampaging toddler and Michael can oftentimes belabor a point to the point of absurdity, I am trying to keep my patience and wits in tact.

Which is interesting when your toddler throws a tantrum for over 2 hours (distractions, obstructions, comforting and logic did not work)--over chocolate (yes, I know--I guess I would too!)

Goals for May:

Get outside more, enjoy the many nature trails around us.

Work out more on the Wii in the evenings; get 40 mins a morning of working out (5 days a week)

Watch the carbs

Appreciate what I have, not the endless list I what needs to be done

Have more fun with less money

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

Perfect Moment #1: I am preparing dinner. Behind me they are playing and I hear:
"Oh Willow, you are the most important person in the whole world to me!" as he hugs her and then she bounds away.

Perfect Moment #2: We are walking along a nature trail and she points out all the dogs (with owners) walking by. Then a HORSE and rider come by. She shys away, backing up towards me--but she is fascinated. I am fascinated at how she perceives and looks at the world all around her.

More Perfect Moments Here.

Roll Out

Well, after over nine months of unemployment, I have accepted an offer for a position at a mid-sized law firm.  So, the "strange normal...