Monday, December 31, 2007

The best surprise ever

I have recieved so many wonderful gifts in my life that told me I was appreciated, that I was loved and that I was surrounded by thoughtful people. This year I recieved the biggest surprise ever. This year my parents met Tony, the kids and I in Northbend a couple of days before Christmas on a trip that I thought was happenstance. Little did I know that they had planned a huge surprise: my sister, Lane and Kaid! That is right! I was told that they would not be able to make it home for Christmas, the first Christmas we have ever spent apart. Good work Mom and Dad! You really surprised me. The hardest part was keeping quiet about it until they could do the same to my brother and his family when they came back from Arizona!

Lane holding Cooper, Nadia, MacKenzie, Aidan and Kaid

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Two more of the house

We have a door!

This is inside said door, looking up.

A Night Out On the Town

--with children

We join my parents and their Friday night dinner friends at the Eagles of Dayton (here is where I refrain from long reminiscings about the town and the place). We order our food from a very pleasant waitress. We observe my mom talking to nearly every table there. There is bingo in the background.

Time goes by.

Aidan is bored and is telling Papa wild stories much like I remember Papa telling me (insert story, any story, as long as it starts with “back in ’42”).

Again, time goes by.

Nadia is wiggly but entertained. She raises her hand. No one pays attention.
A waitress brings us “salad”. You can knock the way it looks but it was really good.

You guessed it, time goes by.

Nadia raises her hand and the waitress asks her if she needs anything.
Nadia innocently informs her, “I don’t have any food
The table and surrounding tables erupt in laughter.
My mom proudly tells the adjacent table, “that’s my granddaughter!”.

I am smiling and looking at my daughter seated next to my mother and I am so grateful they have a special bond. I am also grateful my mom publicly claimed her at that moment for she was knuckle deep in her nose. I gave her the ‘look’ and she quickly pulls it out.
I say to my mom, ”yeah, the one picking her nose and eating it is your granddaughter”.
Nadia quickly defends, “I didn’t eat it yet”.

Give the poor child some food so she doesn't have to resort to her own devices.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Snow snow snow snow

For those of you Bing lovers, you will know the title of this entry from 'White Christmas'. You would think it would be this line that would come to mind as I readied for my day this morning. Tony woke me up, then woke me up again, and again and finally again with a cup of coffee in his hand. I drank half, got up and stumbled around and then the phone rings. I hear Tony tell the caller, "you just made her day".

2 hour delay, YES!

I laid back in bed for about another 1/2 hour when I finally just got up (thank you coffee) and did a little work for the day ahead. Then, inspired by the clock, I made pancakes! Yes, hold your applause. We then hurried off to school. I called Tony on my way and asked him to call the Boys and Girls club just to make sure Aidan was to be dropped off in the usual fashion. He calls back as I round the corner to the school and says,

"PSD1, no school today".

So I called Sara, and off to the mall we went to get Tony a birthday present. We came home and I wrapped nearly all of the Christmas presents. I prepared a crockpot delicacy for tomorrow night and made meatloaf, Tony's favorite. I did the dishes and put away laundry and still had daylight to burn. We watched Shrek the third. And still I had time.

I turned my attention out the window to admire the snow that gave me the gift of this day.

I looked. I looked again. Our snow day was really a little ice day that was cleared by 9 am. I am not complaining, I almost got to sleep in and I had a terrific day with my kids:)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

we came in together, we're going out together

Apparently this was the mantra of the very first two teeth Aidan ever got nearly 6 years ago. We discovered these two pearly whites when we heard the clank of a drinking glass against his teeth. Yesterday morning he was delighted that finally one was loose. One orange at lunch took care of that one. By the time he got home, ziploc bag with tooth in tow, he had another wiggly one. He would not rest until it too was ready to collect cash beside his bed. Determination being one of his strong suits, he wiggled and pushed and pulled and begged for pliers until finally it came out. For this second tooth's exit raked in 8 quarters and a bonus $1 from a nearly tardy tooth fairy.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Slowly But Surely

Here is our progress as of today. All the windows are in except the big one in the front and the HVAC and plumbing will be done by Monday!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We wish you the happiest holiday weekend! We started off the morning great with a hearty, "Happy Thanksgiving" from Aidan as he woke us up. The four of us then talked about (yes I know it is corny) what we are thankful for and I am happy to report our list is very long. We had a nice dinner and spent time with grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. As Tony and I came home we realized that we have the greatest kids ever. They get our jokes (sorry monkey/muffin, I know this will not win you popularity points), they are respectful and considerate (Noni is the first to rub your neck if you say you are not feeling well), they are sweet beyond sweet (come on, what 6 year old little boy asks for a hug from Santa?), they are creative and we love them.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Where's the camera!

I had the most rewarding experience of my maternal life today with no camera to eternalize it! Now I realize this may sound insignificant but to me it was the picture perfect moment I always wanted.

I was in the kitchen making lunch for Aidan and Nadia when I hear the rythmic sounds of a children's book being read in the front room. I stopped mid-stir and listened as Aidan read his sister, "What's Up Pig?". Then I hear Nadia giggle at the audacity of a pig holding an umbrella. I looked, cautiously mind you, around the corner to see them sitting hip to hip and crossed legged with the book resting on both their knees. I hope to treasure this moment, despite my lack of camera.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What a difference 4 days make.

Well, 4 days and a couple of hardworkers :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I know it doesn't look like much, but it is fantastic to see what we have been imagining!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Ok, ok I am a little late.

In case you couldn't guess, Aidan is Frodo and Nadia is a Cowgirl. My mom is responsible for Nadia's costume, thank you Mom!!! Tony made Aidan's costume, thank you my love!!!
I didn't even make dinner that night! Ha!

Friday, November 2, 2007

WIth My Own Two Hands

Setting: in the car on the way home from what Tony calls, “the worst movie ev-er”, Bee Movie. It is 8:00 and Nadia has already in her nightly comatose state sitting snuggly in her pillow of a coat. Aidan is fighting off sleep like a ninja with a constant stream of words and in the background, Jack Johnson cooing at us with ‘with my own two hands’.

Aidan: Do you know what I am going to do with the money I don’t use at Disneyworld?
Dad: No, what?
Aidan: I am going to give it to Santa.
Dad: Why are you going to give it to Santa?
Aidan: Does Santa ever get any presents?
Dad: I don’t know Aidan, what do you think?
Aidan: I will buy him a present. His name is Saint Nick, you know?
Mom: That’s right.
Aidan: Will Santa ever die?
Dad: not as long as people do good things, like buy Santa a present and take care of people who take care of people.

People like you Aidan! What a kind heart you have. Thank you for being such a wonderful spirit.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Can you say "overkill"?

We are ecstatic about the lot!

We are overjoyed with the house plans!

We can not get enough of the wildlife (seriously, there are chickens, quail, a goat!)

But the sign? It is a little over the top, wouldn't you say?

I love the lighting in the fall

Sara took these pictures outside her front door around 4.


We are having a blast watching the process! The kids love running in the dirt:)

Thursday, October 11, 2007


We have officially broke ground!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Crazy Dreams

Aidan sits up in bed at the rosy hour of 6:00 am and says 'wwwwhatz 8 minus 0?'. I said, I didn't know, what is 8 + 0. He says, with more urgency, "whatz 8 minus 0, Mom?". I asked him if I had 8 legos and he took 0 away how many would I have? (I know it is a lame example but I was also working on a furry 6 am brain) He says "phew, 8!" and flops back down. Then again with a look that says he is not budging until he gets the next one says, "what's 8 minus 1?" I say, what do you think Aidan. Again, with relief he says 7!

All is right with the world! No trick questions, no trick answers. What if these have been the dreams that have been waking him in the middle of the night all these years?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Nadia's mind boggles mine

Nadia: Mom, we had a visitor at school today
Mom: oh really, who?
Nadia: it was a varionet
Mom: A varionet (the only thing I could think she meant was with a marionette)
Nadia: you know, a varionet, the ones that help puppies and kitties and animals and stuff.
Mom: Ohhhhh, a veterinarian!
Nadia: Yes (in her teacher-matter-of-fact voice) and she brought 2 visitors (here is where she holds up two very deliberate fingers)
Mom: who were they?
Nadia: well one was a boy. He had a penis and I saw his penis. (Oh my, what kind of school am I sending her to?)
It was a puppy!
Mom: well who was the other visitor?
Nadia: some girl.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Today was a great day:)

I didn't sleep much last night because little Mr. Aidan's asthma is flaring up. He coughed and wheezed and me the ever-heavy sleeper sat straight up in bed and went in to dope him up. I have always been a very heavy sleeper, but I think there is a gene that gets turned on when you have kids that keeps one eye (or in this case, one ear) pinned firmly on your little ones. I had a special needs cat once that I could also wake me out of a deep sleep if he needed something, but I digress. Once I got back to bed I lied awake waiting for sleep to come back. And I waited. And I waited. Finally 3 rolled around and I started to drift off again. Di spite lack of sleep I still had a great day. The morning went smoothly, except for a little unexpected road construction. All went well at school. I had a crisis or two but they all worked out. I had two very pleasant talks with parents. Teaching-wise it was terrific. I grossed Sara out at lunch and she threatened bodily harm. Nothing earth-shattering, nothing stupendous, nothing terrific. But it turned out to be just an all around good day!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Go Cougs!

Ok, I am not much for football but watching Aidan cheer for the Cougs was a wonderful feeling!

Nadia lasted almost through the 3rd quarter and really enjoyed talking with Sara, Trevor and giving her dad a hard time!

We loved going to the Conner Museum and just walking around!

Tony and I were talking about all of the great memories Pullman holds for us. It is like a step back in time, but man did our age show. I am still sore from walking those hills. Tony was completely creeped out by the short skirts that showed off little 19 year old pink chonies. I was not entirely comfortable having my children see women in bikini's play beer pong with loud drunken boys. I was impressed by the greystone church residents who let us see their apartment and the one young man who asked his fellow party-goers to watch their language in front of the little ones. I also felt honored when we left after third quarter and a large group die hard coug fans chanted "fu-ture cou-gars". What a great day!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chomping at the bit

So I am ready. More than ready. We have scrutinized the tiniest photo in a magazine, done countless searches, toured home after home, walked the imaginary lines on our floor to get a feel for the way it will be, we have drawn plans and drawings and revised and revised again, talked and talked and talked some more.

Today we rushed down to City Hall to sign our permit to get a septic tank and water. Whoopee! While it may sound ungrateful that I am not very excited about a little H2O, we went to the Parade of Homes this weekend and all I can think of is:

and a little bit of

But for now I just get to sign papers and dream about what will be, HERE:

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Tony and I were talking about how time does really seem to fly by and I think I know why...
at 22 I graduate college - Go Cougs!
at 23 I got married
at 24 I had my first child
at 25 we bought our first house
at 26 I had my second child
at 27 I got my Masters
at 28 I started my first full time job
at 29 I rested...ok not really but I can't think of any momentous occassions
Here I am at 30 and we just sold our first house and are building our second. Everything seems to be in order. I can't say we are slowing down at all but we certainly are becoming settled. I can't wait to see what 31 has to offer:)

Pics pics and more pics

Skateboarding or flying?

Nadia and My tootisies

Aidan vs turkey leg at the fair

Nadia chowing on a corndog at the fair

Dear Aidan

Aidan's first day of school! I did not cry when I dropped you off or when your little head bopped into class without even a glance backward. I have only emailed your teacher twice.... I know, cut the apron strings already. We had a great run little man. Now other people's children will sink their bigeted or violent or misinformed talons into you. I can only hope you are strong enough to resist them. I know you will choose the narrow, bumpy path of peer pressure at times. Just know that you can always, and I truely mean always, find a way back to our road. The road where you can be silly and smart, you can play hard and work harder, where you can be unconventional yet uphold your customs. You can always be true to yourself little man. I love you!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Corn alert!!!

I have known Tony for 18 years,
We have been together for 13 years,
We have been married for 7 years,
and I have never loved him more than I do right now. I did not think I could love him more, or know him more, but I do. Last night he was telling me about his work and I learned that we are more similiar than we are different. I knew we had the same values, the same dreams and the same senses of humor. Believe me, those things have been tried and tested. I know it is these commonalities that help us be the team we are, but it is our differences that help us get the job done. He is a put-things-together, re-vamp-it-whether-it-needs-it-or-not, I-can-build-that engineer person and I am the let-me-see-your-point-of-view-knee-slappin'-I-can-develop-a-system-for-that-teacher person. As he was telling me about his likes and dislikes at work he said something so akin to my own way of thinking. He too is that systems guy. I knew he developed excel spreadsheets but I did not know that this is how he works. This may be where we butt heads at times. I didn't think discovering something seemingly topical can deepen my love so much. Please excuse all of this corny talk but I just needed him to know.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Grandma Martha used the term 'rubbering' to describe the act of eavesdropping. I always thought it was a peculiar term, but funny none the less :)

I was putting away the dishes and yes I was rubbering in on my children's' conversation. It went a little something like this...
Nadia: Aidan, do you like Santa?
Aidan: yeah
Nadia: But do you know that Santa wiped boogers on my little babies
Aidan: (in a stick it to you tone) nuh-uhhhh
Nadia: Yes he did Aidan! He wiped boogers on my little baby doll's dress AND her pajamas!
Aidan: that is impossible
Nadia: (long pause, then in a quiet voice) I know he did
Aidan: Na-DEE-AHHH!!! He can't reach his boogers because of all that hair!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Calm Before the Storm

I am savoring the calm waters expecting at any moment for the storm to hit. Aidan had his birthday party on Monday at the C E C (that is chuck e cheese to those parents who do not use codes to communicate while their children are listening).
4 Pizzas + 24 cupcakes + 290 tokens + 10 adults + 4 kids + 1 birthday boy= lFeUgNos!
I played skee ball and flaming finger. Enough said. I was having a great time. I was a little nervous that maybe we should have invited lego representatives more of Aidan's friends but he wanted a small legos party and had a great time.

Since the momentous 6th legos birthday bash we have spent hours playing legos. Neither Aidan or Nadia want to leave the legos house. At first I thought they were lego crazy (or worse, lazy). We are an on-the-go family. We always have a project or an event or park or picnic or family obligation or movie or groceries to buy, or negotiations of house to buy or sell; really the list goes on in that blurry I-don't-know-where-the-day-went fashion. The only temptation to get them out of the house this week was a trip to the toy store to spend their hard earned allowance and birthday money. Nadia chose the cutest baby to add to her collection and Aidan chose not one but two LEGOS to build! But just when I thought my world was going to be consumed by legos, I have realized can appreciate quiet days at home playing legos (yes I actually built a respectable 60's style diner, an yes I still refuse to follow any directions), babies, making muffins, listening to stories, dancing, and just plain hanging out.

Part of the realization is knowing that these comfortable days of just bumming around the house enjoying each others company are going to end soon. Life will creep in, obligations will knock at the door. I think just one more day of our vacation from the real world won't hurt. So off I go to appreciate a row of little babies, excuse me kids, that Nadia has set up in her room and another lego creation completed by Aidan!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

6, Ahhhh Good Times

Aidan turns 6 tomorrow. Time has certainly flown by, yet I can not imagine what life was like before him. As my first born he has been the teacher in many respects. I have learned so much about life through his eyes. For instance, right now he is trying to wrap himself around the concept of the almighty dollar. What a confusing set of rules, both socially and mathematically! He started to ask Grandpa for a present yesterday and Tony quickly reminded him that is not appropriate. He asked me if I wanted to get a job that made $80,000 and did not really understand why I do not. He is doing chores to earn money and has negotiated the rate with me several times. Well, extort is probably a better word. $15 for brushing your teeth is highway robbery! He is trying to learn fractions so he can understand that whole quarter thing. Couple that with trying to learn to tell time and you have a real quandary on your hands. His solution was a solid hand to his forehead in frustration. I feel that often, sometimes even with him.

Still, his tenderness comes out. He hums to his kitty which seems to calm her. He remembers to kiss me goodmorning. He plans dates with his dad so they can spend time together. At the park yesterday when Nadia lost her shoe he found it for her, without being asked by anyone and with no reward in sight.

He still gives us moments of side bending hilarity. Just the other day I was reminiscing about a dog we had once. I told of his life and briefly of his demise and of the kind words the man who ran him down offered my then 10 year old sister to which Aidan says with a sigh, "ahhhh, good times". And as Tony and I looked back at him he had the smile that burns my heart stretched across his face.

There are so many adjectives to describe Aidan, too many probably. I love that I can see bits of me and pieces of Tony in who he is, but he lives by his own rules. He has his own way of thinking. He is the epitome of individuality. When he was first expressing this individuality my mom offered sage wisdom, "Don't break his spirit". Not possible!

Friday, July 20, 2007

ahhh summer!

I was feeling melancholy earlier this week as summer starts to wind down. We are starting to talk lunch boxes and back packs and school clothes and teachers. I will miss these silly days but we still have 40 more to go!

Perspective is a funny thing. If there are 40 days left until school is out, it feels like an eternity, but if there are 40 days until school begins it feels like it will go by fast like a bunny!

Monday, July 16, 2007

To be a Maxwell

Today my family was visited by Lane, Kaid, Auntie M, Grammie and just briefly by Papa. I just love my family. There is no organization. I had no idea when everyone was coming or going, but I enjoyed every single minute with them. We sat outside, we sat at the table, we watched a little tv, we listened to the kids play. At one point I walked into Aidan's room and Kaid was sitting on the top bunk teaching Aidan how to make a paper airplane. The three boys (and let me not forget Andria and her top notch Frank Lloyd Wright house) played with legos for hours. It was just comfortable. Lane and Kaid have grown so much. Yes they are taller, I just don't know how. They are more articulate, talking more like boys now not little boys. They sound older. They hug older. They say goodbye older. My sister has always joked that she tells them to stop growing up so she can have them just like they are forever, but Lane said today, "that is just the way life is". He said it with understanding. I am telling you it is just weird to see this little boy growing up. He use to fall for my stupid tricks like 'smell my feet'. He would laugh for hours when I would put lengths of toilet paper in the edge of my mouth and blow it into the air. I didn't hear one potty joke! He is serious and funny and deliberate and cute and sweet and has a touch of a smart mouth and creative and caring and understanding and empathetic and he is a Maxwell.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

half full or half empty

Let us not focus on the half empty...
Not the fact that we spent the last week cleaning and de-cluttering for an open house that prized just two looky-loos
Not the fact that I feel bloated and irritable and just worn out
Not the fact that my sweet little Noni has reached a new high in terms of dramatic fit-throwing
Not the fact that my ever verbal Aidan has turned his power to sarcasm
Not the fact that our perfect fit piece of land has a 30 foot easement that decimates our secluded terrace leading down into a niche that would nestle a pool just so

Instead I will focus
on the fact that we will have fewer boxes to pack when we DO move
on the fact that my house is very, very clean
on the fact that I had a delicious meal served to me with love and friendship, my body is healthy and I have so many things to do that I am not bored
on the fact that Noni is increasingly loving and appreciative of people and is growing into her own person and her own way of thinking, "2 plus 2 is MORE!!!" said with such enthusiasm.
on the fact that Aidan continues to grow his vocabulary and his mastery of how words work, after discussing weddings briefly, "vows are A,E,I,O,U" and "you will need to retain your legend" said to his dragon.
on the fact that we still have a beautiful opportunity in a quiet little neighborhood and that pool will still feel cool and refreshing a few feet to the right!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Congratulations Amy and Mike! What a wonderful wedding for a deserving couple. The setting was beautiful and the food was delicious! I enjoyed the company of the guests and loved the personality of a small wedding. Thank you so much for having us there.

What can I say about Vegas?
Vegas 2
Us 0
Vegas is fun, unfortunately it is a big place with too much to do for just 2 days. Each morning I felt as if I had been run over by a truck, a very large smoking truck. Just as I was warned, it is NOT a place for children. I was disturbed by the number of very small children being dragged around at the wee hours of the morning, slung over shoulders or passed out in strollers. Mine were tucked safely away in Huntsville with Grammie and Papa. They had so much fun! They didn't cause too much damage, just a little wear and tear on nerves I think. Comments received; they don't just sit, they want to go all the time. Yep, that's them. You would think I would have been prepared for all the running around in Vegas, but no. Don't even get me started on how the plane kicked my backside. I have got to find a solution to motion sickness. We looked high and low for gingersnaps after seeing on Mythbusters that they help significantly. I guess before our next flight I will have to make my own. Wish me luck on that!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Congratulations Lindsay & Mike

This weekend Tony and I attended our friend Lindsay's wedding in Wenatchee. I am really not one for weddings because they rarely represent the people involved, but this one was truly beautiful! It was Lindsay! Every detail said relax, have fun, enjoy yourself! Lindsay was the picturesque bride, the bridal party was classic and Mike looked handsome as well, mostly because every time he looked at Lindsay he was beaming. The food was just right and the cake was simple and delicious! Everyone seemed to be making wonderful memories of a wonderful event. I wish Lindsay and Mike a lifetime of simple beauty and wonderful memories!

Also, on a separate but related note, I must say that the three SESRC ladies, (that would be the a fore mentioned Lindsay, our cute friend Cori and myself) have matured quite well. I am more often the toot-er of anothers horn not my own, but I just looked a picture of the three of us from college and we were cute and all but really, you should see us now! Cori now is a sleek, blond bombshell. Lindsay is a suave and sophisticated beauty. I can honestly say that I feel like I fit in my 30 year old skin better than I did the 22 year old skin I clung to for far too long. Well done ladies! I do miss our hours of chatting between surveys from the SESRC days but I am very happy that we can all reconnect so easily when we see each other.

Not to push the point Cori and Lindsay, but there are still two lots next to ours over here on the East side:) I can only imagine the fun we could have! I would settle for a reunion (sans headsets) though...

Friday, June 29, 2007

pondering scary and sexy

I was talking with my good friend Sara yesterday as she travels down through California on a road trip with whom I refer to as "the perfect fit, awesomeness that is Trevor". Actually, I have never referred to him as that, but I should. He is the yin to her yang or maybe she is the yin and he the yang or maybe I should not use references to cultural icons that I have no knowledge of. But I digress. It is a quite simply an easy thing to watch, the two of them that is.

At this point you may be wondering, so is Sara scary or sexy and what does that leave Trevor with? The title is not about them. The title refers to Sara and my conversation about Disney of all things. Yes it has been said that cartoons are disproportionately drawn. Saying it does not change what it is. Yes many a mother has worried that seeing one too many villain will call their children from there own mini bed smack in the middle of mom and dad for nights on end. Yes it has been dually noted that children should be de-briefed about what may be too much, either scary or sexy or too much potty humor for that matter. And yes it has been said that maybe children should not see such movies at all. Our conversation revolved mostly about men. Yes, men. I am not a male-basher by any means. I love the men in my life. I have the worlds best husband. I do not say that loosely. He really is. There is a number (do not ask me what it is) of times that something is said by a parallel number of people that it transitions from mere opinion to fact. An example; Tony is the worlds best husband. I have a dad that loves me, always has, and that is all I ask for. I have a terrific brother who is a great listener and is incredibly funny. I have Aidan who is teaching me about boys and how all of their odd intricacies evolve into masculine qualities that we find humor and frustration with.

Hopefully, I have prefaced this enough not to offend the whole male population, but I came to a revelation while talking with Sara. She had mentioned how scary Disney can be. And yes, scanning the list, the best stories have an element of fear or villain to elicit excitement. But as her sister Lisa had noted, one of the common ways to scare children is to eliminate the mom. Nemo, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Little Mermaid, to name a few, kill off the mother. Yes these are fairy tales, just stories, I know. But what does that say about moms that the ultimate pain to a child is to kill her off? Are men responsible for this? Is this an expression of insecurity from Dads? Does this engage fathers more, or children more? What is the purpose of this particular scare factor?

As for the sex factor, we concluded that this is how Disney ropes dads in to spend 118 minutes with their children and have something to talk about afterward. Hopefully they are not spending their de-briefing time discussing cup size to waist size ratios, but it will help solidify the events in the visually stimulated half of the species. Because, really, IS there a need to have female characters depicted in this unattainable way? Really? What scientifically supported benefit does it have to children? Granted my claims are not science, they are just thoughts, ponderings if you will to possibly build a hypothesis.

Mulan is the exception that proves the rule. She has not only a mother who is happily fulfilling the role, but a grandmother as well who cares for her. She is even one of the most memorable characters. Mulan is a heroin, albeit covertly as a hero. Mulan is not stacked like the other sexy princesses and you may notice is not usually included in all the Princess merchandising. Few shirts, backpacks, tea sets, birthday party balloons (and the list goes on) include her. But Mulan is a great movie. It does have excitement, intrigue, examples of determination, humor, sacrifice and even love. It is a fantastic movie, but rarely the number one pick of children. Again, something to ponder.

Now I do not think men are completely at fault. However I do believe blame originates with men and possibly it is a biological thing not a psychological thing. It is then perpetuated by women (and our baggage). Is there a solution? Will I never again allow Aidan and Nadia to watch Disney? Will I create my own paper cutouts to cover the endowed bodies and dance them across the screen during the movie? Will I bleep out the potty humor with loud renditions of 'When the Saints Go Marching In'? Will I lie about the whereabouts of the moms to ease their fears? Will I cancel our trip to Disney World next year? Will I never again sing and dance to 'Under the Sea"? Of course not. But I will continue to be aware, not to hound the negatives but to stress the positives of literature and film with BOTH Aidan and Nadia. Hopefully, there will continue to be shift in awareness and we will have more Mulans in our future.

Ponder on!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Comments and more

Please feel free to comment on my blathering-ons of crazy or boring thoughts. I would love for this to be a reciprocal forum rather than just reading my own thoughts each day.

Today is a beautiful day. I feel like I have really committed to this silly town. For those that know me really well know that this is a really step for me. I usually have some itch for a move up my sleeve. Commitment to a place is my only real commitment-a-phobia. I have always imagined living in a big city or have researched relocating to a far away place or researched living overseas for a new adventure. I found adventure right in my own backyard! I went to the public library and got a card. Sounds simple enough. Again, if you know me, you will know that I do not feel comfortable doing new things by myself. I had to give myself a serious peptalk this morning. I mindlessly picked the phone up several times to invite people so I didn't have to 'go it alone'. I had to make conscious decisions to put it down before I dialed. Wow. I did not realize how deep rooted my inhibitions go. But I did it! I also registered the munchkins for the summer reading program. Ahh, more commitment! I am actually looking forward to reading 15 hours with them! We went to craft time and I can not possibly describe the creative talents of my mini-DaVinci's. I am very proud! I am just a smidge embarrassed that I too joined in and quickly developed some elaborate plan for my lion mask, only to be blocked by limited resources. It had real potential to be one of the best card stock and tissue paper masks I have ever made. There is always next week! I encourage all of you to look around your area for fun and free activities. They also serve free lunch at the park across the street. I will really have to work up to that one.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

To my sister

I have struggled the past few weeks with what to say to you, knowing that I 'should' say nothing and that I 'should' just listen and that I 'should' just stay out of it. I have never been very good at 'should'. What I want you to know is that I believe in you. I know you will do what is best for you, Lane and Kaid. You always have. I know that making these decisions are tough and I know you are struggling too. I also know that coming to what ever decision it is will take time, and I am trying to be patient and not pressure you. Just know this, OK? We all believe in you. You are in many ways the center of this family. I know that is the burden of the middle child, but you do keep us connected. That is not a string to pull you back, it is merely a statement that hopefully will tell you that we care about you. I love you and can not wait to see you again. Please take care of yourself.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lesson learned little man

I told myself that I wouldn't spend my blogging bragging about my children, but since they are the biggest part of my life why wouldn't I have a lot to say about them? I will undoubtedly have many posts about their achievements and amazement and I am sure about my frustrations with them and my only request is that you do not take me too seriously. What I am really asking is, what mother does not think her child is some sort of genius, or devil child for that matter, at some point in time and need to vent a little?

Yesterday, Tony, the kids and I were on our way back from our weekly trip to Costco and Aidan says, "what is 10 times 10?" This game of quizzing our math skills has been a real hoot, let me tell you. Honestly, I try to have patience for his little learning brain. I try to explain the concept of a zero for the 13th time without a tinge of annoyance in my voice. I try to not cringe when I hear counting, to 100, again, but by 2's, or 5's or yes even 10's. I try to fain some sort of enjoyment when I hear the joke, "I can count to a hundred, watch, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 100" followed by a round of giggles by him and by Nadia. I try not to groan when I think about Aidan teaching Nadia the same skills reminding me that time will push repeat in about 20 months. I try NOT to think of my own neurotic counting of steps, stairs, seconds or even ceiling tiles. But this time when Tony and I pretended not to hear him, (yes the guilt rages on), and there is 30 seconds of quiet (because I was probably counting myself) followed by, "it's 100!" I did not have to pretend to be interested or pleased or proud. Poor Aidan, again the teacher not just a student. This little math hurdle was followed by my own question.
"how did you know that?"
"I counted"
Lesson learned, Aidan. I will be interested, pleased and proud of the steps along the way.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Day 1 . . .

The stage is mine! I have you cornered. There is no escape, because like me, you are one of those rubber-neckers that backs up traffic. You are witnessing a trainwreck and you can't turn your eyes away.

Ok, maybe not a trainwreck, but I am sure something in here will come back to bite me in my proverbial buttocks.

So here goes.

My life story.

Where to begin?

Ummmmm. Let me see here.

Now that I have all of these listeners I have nothing to say. My teenage motto was, "I can talk talk talk talk talk talk talk". This motto was particularly useful when people would tell me to be quiet and in my ultra-mature 12-year old mind this catchy retort made sense. I did not, scratch that, do not like being told what to do. I would continue on talking, about nothing, until I chose to stop. Oh, how defiant I was.

Only now, I feel all talked out.