Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday (Season Finale)

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. For more Perfect Moments, go HERE





Long weekend was a plethora of moments that combined to make me remember why, even though my life is far from perfect, I should be (and genuinely am) thankful for all I have.

Moment #1: They come in the evening, after dinner. The gamers with the dice and the loud voices and the fun. Technical difficulties make it hard to play in the kitchen. We have a member who skypes and it is not working on our laptop. Our solution brings our out-of-state friend into our living room, large as life on our television, closing the distance between us all even more.

Moment #2: She is sick in that funny way where she is so much better and full of mischief after she has some tylenol...the only way to get her to rest is for me to have her rest beside me under the covers in my bed. I fall asleep before she does, but then I wake enough to see that she has finally fallen asleep she looks like the most beautiful thing in the world to me.

Moment #3: He has a reading assignment during school where he needs to read between 20-30 mins per night, grading is set by how many pages you have read. He is a slow reader. And he has gotten done with his latest book. And its the holiday weekend so going to the library for another one is out--so we find a book in the house. A Night to Remember. He reluctantly starts to read it, but is making slow progress. Tonight he asks if I could read it to him (while technically he is supposed to do the reading, I am fine with tweaking the rules for him as I know he is a good reader). I start to read about the last moments of the Titanic, this voice that lately has been reading pre-school stories. And I am lost in the book and I excitedly voice commentary on the various going-ons with the narrative. My son sits and listens, and while he fidgets a bit...there is this small moment--when I see him trapped in the book along with me.






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Friday, May 27, 2011

Time Flash Forward

I was exhausted, overwhelmed (suffering from PPD, but I did not know that at the time). She offered to have me come visit. We had moved 1/2 hour away from them, the first adult couple we had made actual connections with. I was a bit intimidated at having to put my newborn into his car seat, drive ALL THE WAY there (and then back!). She had decided to be become a stay at home mom, now that her daughter was in kindergarten (I remembered when she born--our first adult friends who had a child!).

So I arrived there, tired, freaked out as a first time mom. Coming to her house for companionship and comfort. She made me a tuna fish sandwich (because I hadn't eaten at all that day). He slept in his car seat. We watched for her daughter to come home from school. We talked and I told her how overwhelmed I was. And she made me feel like I wasn't crazy.

I regreted leaving that day, but I left with more confidence and less alone than when I arrived.

I remember all of this...as I receive the High School Graduation invitation in the mail...the little girl all grown up.

They moved away when Michael was not quite one years old...all the way to Oregon! We keep in touch, but not as much as we would like. And now to see this makes me regret the time that has passed between us.

But there is always a place in my heart for the family that first made us feel like a family. Who lead the way for us to follow.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Through His Eyes...

The blog is my way to document my life, my children. Every so often I get a glimpse of what my husband sees--whenever he finally downloads his pictures from his phone...


"Going to work!" (wearing one of daddy's ties) (He texted me this on Mother's Day)


One on one session last Saturday...


At the zoo on her birthday...


Birthday Girl


Juice box and popcorn (breakfast of champions!)
(note the pancakes in the background which will be real breakfast)


Intense videogaming at Chuck E the Cheese (one of Willow's favorite places)


Sunday at Boston Common and the Swan Boats (sitting next to the 911 memorial)



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Monday, May 23, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. For more Perfect Moments, go HERE




Moment #1: The clarinet music in the kitchen is familar and unfamilar to me. The tunes are familar, the sound of the clarinet, the hum the licore-ish sound... Listening to him play the instrument standing in the kitchen, I remember seeing a picture of my father playing his clarinet in his mother's kitchen. I remembering practicing my clarinet--not in the kitchen, I was more comfortable in my room away from all eyes. Here my son proudly plays as I go about the normal cleaning up in the kitchen. It feels normal (although we have only started doing this two days ago). It feels like this has always happened, yet never happened before. He doesn't let me play his clarinet, even though I would die to play it just for a little while...and I let it alone because I want him to learn and play without pressure from me. Without my influence--although it is still there, in the familar sounds of his tunes.

Moment #2: She is sucking the life out of "Bambi". She really is. How many times can I watch it? Let's find out...ahh, Uncle John is here--HE can watch it with her while I escape to make dinner!! I come in after a little while to see them sitting on the couch, she right up next to him, his arm around her. They are watching the movie intently and I see how much they are both enjoying this movie. And I realize that to her, this is a perfect moment. And I sit down on the couch and watch the rest of the movie with them.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Family Gaming Night

A long time ago, pre-Willow, we established Family Gaming night. Usually Friday night, we would bring out the board and card games and we would play. When Michael was younger it was checkers and other games made especially for his age group. By the time we had progressed to more adult games--the Family Gaming night was postponed because of Newborn.

Last night, after Chewy (my new name for Husband) successfully put Willow to bed...we re-established Family Gaming Night. It was awesome to spend the time with Michael and we had a great time. Yes, the parental units probably would have preferred to just collapse in a heap in front of the television, and yes there were times we started to talk adult conversations and then realized we had to table that discussion...but I think we would not have missed it for the world. We stayed up until midnight.





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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guest Posting - Proudest Mommy Moments

Today, I’m guest posting over at The Kir Corner. Kir is another blogger who I have met through the incredible Braces Bunch, and I’m honored she asked me to to be a part of her Proudest Mommy Moments feature.

I love guest posting--not only do I get to visit another blogger's site--YOU can too!! Please go over and read Kir!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Duly Noted - Blogger Ate this Post...

Kind of a randomy post today...



Potty Training –

Willow is really doing very well with potty training. I haven’t changed a dirty pull up for at least a week (almost 2 -- except for that oopsie on Mother’s Day). She is still in pull ups at home, but during the day at Preschool she is in underwear. Seems every time we try to do underwear at home—she pees right through 3 pair within an hour—always fun to walk into the kitchen and step in something wet, think its water and realize its pee—yep, that was Mother’s Day. Not sure why she does this at home. But I don’t mind (really), because even in pull ups she is consistently going to the bathroom (almost exclusively on the regular toilet). I had forgotten about the wiping and non-wiping, the accidents and the preparations(before we leave, while we are somewhere, before we leave to go home—always asking about the bathroom!) During the movie (Thor, which was good, btw) she had to go to the bathroom twice. So, I missed a key scene, hubs missed part of a cool battle (I think I won on that one!) I am happy with how smooth it is going, although she is still in diapers at night and I cannot wait for exclusive underwear wearing…

Mother’s Day –

Started off with a little girl peering at me while I was lying in bed and saying “hello, mommy”. I smiled and then noted that it was only 7:30 a.m. And that she must have slipped through the radar, because our deal on Mother’s and Father’s Day is that the person being honored gets to sleep in AS LATE AS THEY WANT (within reason, of course). Which, for me, since they are awaiting the chance to “surprise” me with breakfast in bed—well, that means 9:30 this time…they certainly surprised me at how well “they” (meaning husband) made breakfast. Homemade french toast (they went out and bought bakery fresh bread) and hot chocolate, followed by a piece of chocolate cake (psst...the cake was not that good). And then the day began.

My relaxation was fractured by husband being on a loooong phone call with his mother…whereupon I did the normal mom duties of playing with play doh, dolls, talking about a videogame and Star Wars while cleaning up a dirty pull up.

Back on track for a Mother’s Day—went with Michael to laser tag. It was at a new laser tag place right in town and it was a lot of fun! Only regret was (a) we only did one session (of 45 mins) and (b) there were not that many people there. That meant that Michael and I played on a team with two little girls (I would say one was like 8 years old, the other maybe 10). The two girls would run ahead and get shot up by their older relatives and run screaming through the maze. Michael was irritated by the screaming. I thought it was funny. Consequently, the Blue Team (us) did not fare so well…we lost 4 games out of 4. Afterwards, Michael played in this ENORMOUS bouncy house/maze/slide. It was great to have some time just with my “little” guy.

Add to that going to my favorite Japanese steakhouse for dinner…and it was a great day!

Pictures! -

Willow's Three Year Old portraits came in and I was able to revise my main collage in our living room. It was sobering to place her three year old pictures on top of her two year old pictures on top of her one year old pictures. I love traveling in time through these pictures...I just wish time did not normally go so fast while I am living it!!

Speaking of Time Flying By...



  • Already sent in the forms for Michael's summer camp. He is going to do Boys & Girls club first (which has arts, crafts, field trips, swimming, video games, etc.) and then in August he will be going to D&D Adventure camp again (or geek camp, as I call it!)



  • So, sixth grade just FLEW by!! I am proud of my straight A student and surprised by the maturity he has been showing this year. (On the other hand, one of his favorite silly things to do is dance up and down with his butt in the air and slapping it...something we try to discourage, especially since Willow seems to be trying to imitate it while dancing to songs)



  • Michael's spring concert is coming up (June 1st) and I know he has not been practicing his clarinet too much...I guess I have to encourage that more...



  • My dad is coming to visit in mid June (been a while!)



  • We have our week in Cape Cod scheduled for July 1 - 8th; which should be interesting--we have never been on Cape during July 4th (and my hubs birthday too!)





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  • Monday, May 16, 2011

    Perfect Moment Monday

    Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. For more Perfect Moments, go HERE



    Moment #1: Husband is upstairs taking a nap. It's about time to wake him up, so I suggest to her that we go up and wake daddy. She has another idea, as we both snuggle under the covers next to him. He hugs her and we face each other. It is a rainy, lazy day and we just pause and look at her as she looks at me. Her priorities, though, get the better of her--as she proceeds to tell me "hold on" and goes downstairs. To grab her half-eaten piece of pizza from lunch. She then comes into bed and gingerly places the piece on the headboard, snuggles in and then occasionally pops up to grab another bite. Pizza in bed. (Later we will laugh as we go to bed to find bits of pizza crust in our bed)

    Moment #2: This morning we are rushing around and I am not feeling that great (sore throat and rough night's sleep). I just grab a shirt to wear and put it on. He comes upstairs to give me a good bye kiss. He says "mom, you look nice" and suggests that it would look even better with my heart necklace. It is the first time he has ever offered such advice and I take it, feeling a little better about the day ahead. Throughout the day I think of this and smile at the necklace around my neck.




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    Monday, May 09, 2011

    Perfect Moment Monday

    Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. For more Perfect Moments, go HERE



    Moment #1: I am just relaxing for a bit, being indulgent. The house is in disarray and I am in my pjs (loose shirt, torn pants). Husband has taken her out for a walk around the block (he had promised her a walk earlier and she is pretty insistent on promises being kept) and the boy is playing a computer game quietly in the corner. And then I hear voices outside; especially can make out my husband's booming voice. I open the door to see surprise visitors---one of our gaming buddys and his mom. She is fighting the big C and I haven't seen her since diagnosis. She is hearty and full of strength and determination to beat this and we talk not only of that but the Kentucky Derby and my daughter who is playing nearby. We stand outside the house (I invite them in, but they are only dropping something off). Our yard is a bit of a mess, I am a bit of a mess...but all this is insignificant to the wonderful camaraderie and warmth felt by all.

    Moment #2: I cannot sleep. I toss and turn and then I come downstairs and sit on the couch and look at my tablet for a bit. Black and white fur engulfs my face as he lays on top of my chest. I pet him and he purrs so loudly. And I find myself relaxing and enjoying this time with him. He knew I needed a friend at 2 a.m. His purring also starts to put me to sleep--so I go back to bed, Kif tucked under my arm.



    Moment #3:


    He made a Star Wars card with my favorite character (Han Solo)and a gift card to go see a movie with him; she came in and gave me her card and a zebra (which she later took back); and he not only made french toast, but coordinated it all. Perfection.






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    Friday, May 06, 2011

    Portals

    Real and imagined, portals seem to be around me lately.

    Here is a description of the start of gaming session last night (the GM wrote this):

    After several thunderous blows from Hephaestus' hammer the rune finally shatters in a blinding flash of unnatural light. The force knocks the Dwarf back on his generous behind and for a moment the party including the Dwarf share a hardy laugh reflecting on their many accomplishments. The moment is fleeting; the Druid is the first to realize something is amiss along with her faithful but unloved elven dog who begins to howl uncontrollably. There is a sudden chill and quickly everyone can see their own breath as the sky darkens. The spot where the rune was destroyed begins to shimmer and distort the ground. Next, the sound emanating from the Dwarf's hammer like a giant tuning fork that was only audible to the dog is heard by everyone. The ground begins to ice up and fog envelopes the party. Only the Dwarf can see the portal that has opened before him. He sees the next rune partially covered in a pile of manure near one of the inner walls of Freeport where is appears to have skidded to a hault after being thrown over the wall. It beings to hail. The last thing the party hears before the wind and high pitched whine of the hammer drown everything else out is the eagle take flight and the Otoug lumber off frightened out of his mind.



    So, we decided to go through the portal. I (being the Druid) was not too sure, but I knew I wanted to get out of where we were. That all I could hope was that what was awaiting us on the other side was better than what we were facing. So, we boarded our treasure laden boat and our Dwarf pulled us through (he had a magical girdle of Giant strength). (We made quite a spectacle of ourselves--a boat with various party members, with snow and gold flying everywhere--popping out of nowhere in the middle of a city)

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    This morning during my work out, I finished the Dr. Who (ten) with the planet of deadly stingray-like aliens. It starts off with a group of people (including the Doctor) in a UK double decker bus going through a portal. Seems the stinray-like aliens create their own portals, and then like locusts they destroy all in their path. When they first go through the portal, the bus driver thinks he could just go through the portal again--bad move there buddy--instant skeleton time!

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    We are transitioning. We are past the real badness that we have been dealing with the past couple of years, but now we have to recover. We have been battered emotionally, financially. But we have created our portal and now we are through it. How do we forge ahead now that we are in recovery? We are still dealing with the repercussions of the past and, frankly, still dealing with being a 2 child family.

    Where we go from here...I hope somewhere postive (at least I don't think it will have alien locusts...)

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    Monday, May 02, 2011

    Perfect Moment Monday

    Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. For more Perfect Moments, go HERE



    I look forward to Perfect Moment Monday. Mostly for the selfish reason of trying to put down in black and white something intangible about my life, my children. I hope that someday they will read these posts as one goes over a photo album.

    I also look forward to reading other people's Perfect Moments. Sometimes they make me laugh, sometimes they make me more thoughtful and thankful. And often times I can relate to them. Please click on the above link and read some really beautiful Perfect Moments! (and I mean, there are some really great ones this week, and I really was not even going to post because I was kind of intimidated!!)

    Moment #1: She is out with the big kids. I am putting my trust in her brother and his friend to watch out for her (I kinda know what I am doing on this). But, after fifteen minutes, I cannot stand it. I come out to see how they are doing. She is fine and I watch them play. They look out for her and play with her. And I can see that she is not just a baby any more. Then the big kids gravitate towards our neighbor's trampoline (of death, as I like to call it). I have given up warning my son from the trampoline (it is old style without a netting, high off the ground, etc.). Oh...but I always am a sucker for a trampoline and wish I had spent more time on one when I was younger. So when she asks if she can try it...I cannot help myself. I lift her up and instruct her ever so carefully. I hold her hand as she jumps. The boys help her too. I gravely insist that she cannot go on this trampoline except when her father or I are here. And I let go. It is dangerous, it is exhilarating, it is hard to let her go. But, in the end she will fly. And all I can do is watch and hope that others are there to watch over her too.

    Moment #2: Putting him to bed. For once, she is asleep before him so I can spend more time with him. And we talk about X-Men and the complexities of the Phoenix saga. And I recall why I love his geek passions--because they remind me of being that age. And I don't want him to go to bed just yet.


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    Ripple Effects 2

    "Do you ever feel dead inside?"  -- this is what she said to a teacher in the hallway.  Promptly got a call from a counselor.  For...