Thursday, December 31, 2009

lessons learned

circa 2009
...hope reigns

...lullabies ward off nightmares
...some people need the freedom to choose on their own in order to follow the path you would have chosen for them anyway
...pigs in a blanket are decadent and represent simplicity, and I discovered that I crave both
...the perfect day includes family, pj's, good books, diet pepsi and board games
...they told the truth when they said 'enjoy your children while they are young, they grow up too fast'
...my kids genuinely like each other

...matching is over-rated, unless it is serving spoons
...people will barely notice if you don't wash your hair everyday
...even a cat lover like me can fall head over heals for this dog

...it is good to accept invitations when it is easier not to, and it is ok to turn them down when you need to
...shoveling the driveway in the moonlight is romantic, if you want it to be
...watching a child crack them self up over a one-liner brings instant joy, and so do cupcakes

...you can make room on the couch for snuggling and you can always make more room in the closet for shoes
...you should wear your retainers
...it doesn't matter if other people think my cat is beautiful, I do

...it is not the cleanliness of your house, or the perfection of your appetizers that makes a party memorable, it is the conversation
...being musical has nothing to do with pitch or tone and everything to do with stage presence

...reading is my guiltless pleasure
...you can like or even love someone without liking everything about them

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sapient

Yesterday was my sister's birthday.


My sister is a phenomenal woman, that is a fact. I have been thinking for a while now how to sum her up in just one word.
I couldn't think of one.
A thousand came to mind.
How can you pick one word that embodies a woman who can do anything?
I should ask her, she would know.

The closest I could come was...
SAPIENT

that is...
-capable
-competent
-persistence
-guts
-ability
-push
-gumption
-wise

When I have a "how?", I call Andria.
She has an answer.
She has an answer for me, for everyone who asks.



She even has answers when you don't.
Just a week ago our brother said to me regarding a computer problem "Andria will fix it when she gets home". And just yesterday I overheard her son Kaid say, "Give it to Mom, she can do anything!"

Even when she is resting, she is fixing something. In this case she is fixing a restless Margo.


She can do it all. She has the right answer to every question.
As I rack my brain, the only question that I have asked as of late where her answer was just a little misguided was who was older, me or her... she has convinced some that it is me.

Happy Birthday Andria.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

meet Margo

Margo is the sweetest little Mastidane pup you may ever meet. She is black with the cutest little spots of white on her back two feet and a wittle bitty white tuft on her chest. She has big blue eyes and delectible wrinkles on her blocky head. Tony has been pining for either a Mastiff or a Great Dane for eons and she is the perfect little combo. She is the complete package, puppy breath and all. I want to smootch her and ootch her and love her and call her George.
Ok, maybe call her Margo, the only name the four of us could agree on.

She's alright, I guess...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

I love prints

It doesn't matter the medium, whether it is sand or snow, mud or dust.
It doesn't matter the artist, whether it be man or cat, bird or snake.
Pumi the Squatter Cat, december 2009

I love the tracks that life makes.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

my love

Thirty-three years ago this very day a woman, that is to say a very pregnant woman, was walking, carrying her own toddler and holding the hand of her brother's when she tripped over a railroad spike. Little did the world know that railroad spike would be the beginning of a brighter world, one that includes my love.

Exactly 17 years later Tony would give me a tilted grin and explain to me what a golden birthday was. He went on to say, with his green eyes shining mischieviously, that since it was his, I really should be extra nice to him.

I wasn't.

But every birthday since I have. And I hope to for every birthday that comes. On that golden day I didn't understand how much happiness that tilted grin would bring me. I didn't understand that I would turn to those mischievious eyes whenever I had a crazy plan or needed him to come up with one. I didn't know that I was looking at the hardest working, most compassionate and loving man I would ever know. If only I had known then what I know now.

Happy Birthday Tony!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

i hope we are creating a monster

I stopped mid-eye lash curl when Tony called to say yes we do have a 2-hr delay today. I went downstairs to check emails (and facebook, who are we kidding here?), make myself something warm and cozy to drink and prepare the batter for the traditional 2-hr delay pancakes when I heard the stirring of a little man upstairs.

He found me climbing the stairs and asked, "Mom, do we have a 2-hr delay today?"

I grinned and said, "Why yes we do! You can grab a blanket and snuggle down on the couch to watch cartoons, or you can go back to sleep it is up to you!"

"Or, I can keep reading Huckleberry Finn?" He called over his shoulder as he was already half way back to his room.

...

I become obsessed when reading a good book. One summer when I was lead to the world of Jodi Picoult I spent a few days straight on the couch, sobbing then laughing then appreciating my own healthy world. I have no memory of what my neglected children ate, whether they napped or if they were clothed. (I am guessing they were not clothed as I am raising a couple of streakers). There was also the discovery of Twilight (yes I know, but a good book is a good book), and my sister introduced me to Janet Evanovich, and there was Khaled Hossenini and Gregory Maguire (and many a trashy novel in between), and of course my Christmas favorite, Little Women. Then there was Marisa Del Los Santos just this summer.

Obsessed! Once I start, I can not think of anything else.

One of our best memories of the little town where we grew up was our class reunion. Tony and I brought a Carmel apple pie to the family lunch in the park. No one ate it. We had time to spare between the family festivities and when my mom was ready to watch the kids so we could enjoy the evening fun. So there we sat, us in the front of the car eating the Carmel apple pie with the fork I stashed in the glove box, kids napping in the back, shaded by a beautiful old tree, Tony and I taking turns reading from the 6th Harry Potter.

Two days last winter Tony and I spent the entirety in our jammies, reading, reading, reading. The children chilled around the house with their Christmas treasures and we ordered in.

In fact there were many a Christmas vacation where Tony would read to his hearts content with pistachio nuts, jerky and pepsi for nourishment. Tony is more tempered in his reading but his loves are many. There are still mornings when I ask Tony how he slept and he lets me know he stayed up just a little to late reading.

To think of it now, there have been many nights where we have to take a book away from Aidan because he wants to read until sun up.

I don't think I have to hope, I think we have created a monster!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

an apology

Dear Family,
I apologize from the bottom of my heart and with all sincerity for my behavior every single year when we try to capture our family photo. I hope, children, when you look back on the torture I put you through during family pictures you will laugh it off and not shudder in horror of ever having to saddle up in that frozen pose of symmetry. You may even make me the subject of your ribbing and that will be alright, it is certainly well deserved. I am sure there will not be a Christmas that goes by that someone doesn't bring up a story of matching sweaters, ridiculous amounts of hair primping and the command through gritted teeth to "please.just.smile.so.we.can.get.this.over.with!" I am sorry I become a freak-show-monster-mom when it comes to these moments, but I hope you understand it is more than a picture, it is a memory of our 2009 versions looked.

And just look at how lovely we are!
I love you.
Love,
Mom

Friday, December 11, 2009

a tribute to Bing

The voice of Christmas belongs to Bing Crosby.
You can try to argue with me, but I am likely not to listen. Others have come along and we have all danced to their voices and even my one-track heart has skipped a beat listening to a crooner or two. But there is only one voice that welcomes the Christmas season for me.

My memories of readying for Christmas include Andria and I dancing a crazy jig to Bing Crosby's rendition of Jingle Bells, accompanied by the Andrew Sisters. Just put that song on and you really can't stop yourself from moving. Mele kalikimaka has been a favorite ever since Tony began starring as Bing's duet partner. White Christmas warms my heart, not to mention how the movie gets me. The song Count Your Blessings (instead of sheep) is a song of the season. But the song that speaks to me this year, as so many are in need, is Christmas is a Comin. We will be listening and seeing where we can spare.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ah come on!

These smooch-tacular lips...

A brilliant blue eye...

An ear so cute you want to nibble it...

A smile that makes my heart swoon...

An eye that twinkles with mischief...

Even this silly tongue is praise worthy...

Beautiful pieces of my family...

But put the four of us together, all of our cute little bits vying for shared space on one Christmas card, and you get one horrendous family picture.
We dress in our coordinating sweaters,
practice our smiles,
give ourselves a little pep talk
and
year
after
blessed
year
we end up looking like a 'before' picture for the latest and greatest beautify your family product that promises to take away every nerdy attribute, every snaggle tooth, every cross-eye, every expression that says "I just smelled a rotten egg".

We are not asking to be portrayed as American's Next Top Model Family, but come on!
Maybe next year the sum of our parts will make a decent picture.
For this year expect the words Happy Holidays to be strategically placed over upcurled lips and squinty skewed eyes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

aidannadia

I am intrigued by patterns in behavior and personality. I want to understand the root of those patterns, not to change them or shape them or blame them, but just to understand humans for their humanness. Maybe it is my way of righting the nature versus nuture debate, settling my degrees in genetics and psychology once and for all. Every mother thinks their children a prime subject of study, but I have to say my little Noni-poo-poo's tendencies toward symmetry and the appreciation of backwards thought are hard to ignore.

If you smash Aidan's name nice and snug against Nadia's name then you have a palindrome. I have often said that Aidan and Nadia are opposites in more than name but now I am starting to wonder if by naming Nadia Aidan's name backwards we may have inadvertently planted some sort of backwards seed in her. If not backward then some sort of need for isometric clarity.

She has always danced to her own tune. She revels in the wonder of the world around her, even if it is the completely obvious, but it is the reversal of writing and the mirror imaging of her thought process that make me question how this came to be. She has this way of holding her hands in mirror of each other like she is holding a precious parentheses. She will define her ideas in the air with these hands, first to the left and always mirror her ideas on the right. It is like she is holding them there in space, little bookmarks in time that are teetering in equilibrium. If she has two, then one is always gifted to her brother. Her conference report shared that while she struggled a little with explaining basic addition, she rocked the story problems that required her to think algebraically. She writes from left to right and then from right to left. Nothing to worry about her teacher assures us. I too love symmetry, evenness.
Maybe it is symmetry?
Maybe it is the result of a backward name?
Maybe it is fairness?
Maybe it is the truths of a global mind?
Maybe it is her way of striking balance in the world?
Maybe it is just Nadia.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

handy man

Anyone who knows Tony knows he is one handy man. His to-do list is forever long, split into a multitude of columns and organized by room of the house and area of the yard. Having me as a wife, one who dreams big and is quite convincing, does not help stave the growth of his list.

Here are his latest two projects. For the record, neither of these were my idea. The cat house is to diminish my worry about our squatter cat, or to placate my worry enough that I don't bring him inside to keep him warm, take your pick. Either way, I am lucky to have a husband who validates my concerns for furry little friends, especially when the results are super stinkin cute.


This feat, the Christmas lights, is all Tony. I am in favor of throwing the lights into the yard to give a sparkle-snow effect, the appeal of easy clean up only enhances the sparkle, don't you think? I am also in favor of my 3-ft Christmas tree to be celebrated for all of our lives, but I lost that one too.

Friday, November 27, 2009

memories

I have a terrible memory. A terrible auditory memory anyway. I have a fantastic memory of faces. I rock at the 'what-other-movie-did-that-guy-play-in' game...sort of. I can tell you the other movie or show's story line, the personalities, the co-stars, the setting even, but if the rule states that I have to recall either the actor's name or the movie name then I stink. I can remember the who and the where of my experiences, but not the 'what was said'. To be truthful, sometimes the what happened is a little fuzzy too.

But there are times when I have what I can only describe as a burst in my mind that says remember every single second of this, remember every sequence of events, remember every whisper. My first kiss with Tony was that way. This surge told me that this was a moment to remember. I remember exactly where we were, what I was wearing and even the movie line he quoted and my lame-o response. Everything.

But there are so many times where I am not present in the moment enough to realize that this is a memory I need to tuck away for safe keeping. One that I need to preserve for all time. Lately we have revived the nightly lullaby, our own take on Hush Little Baby that Tony and I began out of necessity at the coinciding birth of Aidan and his insomnia. Tony and I take turns ending each verse with a word that the other has to pick up a rhyme to. Verses are often laced with precious trinkets of childhood and sadly our maturity level just as often brings about descriptions gifting our child with some animal's dung or tellings of rotten cotton. As I watched him, eyes pressed closed, mouth smiling or contorting in indignation as he responded to each verse, that burst told me that I needed this memory. This memory and Nadia's reaction. She too enjoys hearing her own edition, but being the natural poet that she is, she chimes in when she has a better, more appropriate verse. I know that these times are not going to last and I hope that my mind is able to protect these images from the fading of time. I hope I can recreate these moments through story so Nadia and Aidan are able to glimpse back into the faces of their childhood.

Monday, November 23, 2009

thankful

I am thankful for
the time and the gumption to do projects with my family,
kids who still want to play along,
a husband who actually enjoyed making a thankful turkey,
and having more reasons to be thankful than my turkey had tail-feathers.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

board cert and a great hair day

Two reasons that made me smile yesterday.

As for the hair, it was a long time a-coming. I have been under a great deal of stress lately because the left side of my hair has been just a little too poofy and the right side looks like someone put ticky-tack under my strands to stick them to the side of my head. The back of my hair was having it's own internal tug of war trying to choose a flip out or flip under look. Don't even get me started on the gray versus blond controversy going on at the part of my bangs. All of this action going on atop one person's crown was enough to drive anyone into the depths of an anxiety-ridden, sleepless, over committed hair depression. Tony has expressed concern over and over again about the copious glob of hair left behind after each shampoo. Aidan has been so concerned that he asked if he can collect said glob so he can stitch together a wig for his poor balding mother. I was completely out of balance. I had support from my awesome hairstylist Crystal. She gave advice, expressed concern for my hair's inclination to take on too many styles all at once and provided moral support. My friends and family offered suggestions on how to tame the chaos. My children patiently waited each morning as I tried to coax the mass into some semblance of a hair-do. I exhausted my arsenal of coif products, trying to use each to its full potential, trying in vain to strike some sort of balance. I woke each morning with the determination to take each snarl on with patience and focus. I asked for the strength to find peace in the outcome and grace to cope with the constructive criticism and optimism of those around me as they rallied for the good hair day that no one could predict would come today, tomorrow or even if I would have to wait a whole year.

And then I woke up yesterday, with my stomach in the same knot it has come to know for the past year and a half. I breathed deeply trying to calm my racing heart with anticipation of what the day would bring.
Would my hair let me down?
Would this stressful, twisted, all-encompassing trial end today?

Then it happened. I washed, I rinsed, I added root boost and blew it dry. I willed myself the strength to look at the results. Every strand fell into place, the left was not too poofy and the right had just the right amount of spunk. The back did this alternating cute-kind-of-messy-out-then-in thing that resulted in a score that was good even if it wasn't perfect. The gray vs. blond battle concealed itself by parting at just the right angle. There was still a lot of lost hairs not unlike the lost sleep and precious moments that lead up to this but every hair that remained was healthy and shiny. My reflection said I was ready to take on the day and for the first time since the stress began I felt free enough to agree.

The hair-saga was not unlike the work, disappointment, sacrifice, anxiety and stomach-wrenching, exhaustion that went into completing my national board certification. It too turned out OK. I had support and encouragement from more people than I could appreciate at the time. I worked hard, but these people made it possible. Tony deserves some sort of award for the tireless work he put in for me and our family.

I passed. I didn't suck like a rotten egg on the assessment center as I had predicted. I did great on my entries, but it wasn't perfect.
And we are all still here, we are all still healthy and we are all shiny.


me, sassy and serious, but deliriously relieved,
holding the print off that says,
Congratulations...
you should thank all of the people around you that put up with you
while you became Nationally Board Certified.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

mmmmm and ooooooo

I have been mulling over just how to document our trip to Sycamore. I want Aidan and Nadia to remember the terrific times we had with their cousins, how welcomed we felt by my sister and David and of course the wonderment of the sights we experienced at the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and the Midwest Museum of Natural History but all I can think about is the food! Experience after experience was laced with the guttural memory of every bite.



The savory warmth of homemade beef stew piled on a puff of mashed potatoes built the homey atmosphere we came to know the entire time we visited. Andria is a stew-genius and a wonderful hostess.



Every family should relish in the goodness of Portillo's. I watched my loved ones scarf some serious hot dogs, if you can call them that. They are more like hot dog works of art. Unfortunately, I was relegated to chicken noodle soup as just two days prior I had horrendous, tear-inducing, panic-stricken gum surgery and needed to go gently into that good bite. The spunky atmosphere and movie-inspired decor sparked family conversation, which with Tony, David and Andria as company always proves to be a good time.



As we walked into Shedd Aquarium I was overwhelmed with the architectural beauty and while the diversity of life is cemented into my memory it is slightly overshadowed by the late and lazy lunch that followed. Our fancy, gadgetty GPS lead us on a brisk walk to the Firehouse of Chicago where I thought my tongue had died and gone to heaven. When people say roast beef melted in their mounth I always thought they were blowing smoke up my wahoozie, but I am here to tell you that the horseraddish slathered delicate slices of roast beef melted on my tongue, and that wasn't even my order! I savored the cheesy goodness that is French Onion Soup and Nadia had the cheesiest real macaroni and cheese I have ever laid eyes on.



My stomach's memory moves from these delectable meals to what I can only describe as a fete of Greek delights. Ok, so that may not be the only way I could describe it, but it is the last of 22 attempts. Picture eight Greek-pristine, Field Museum weary, traffic law-bending family members gathered around a table awaiting delicious dishes that I can't begin to pronounce let alone spell and me, marveling at the petite half pint Diet Pepsi seated in front of me. There was warm, crusty bread with tzatziki dip and salmon dip, gyro, flaming cheese, Greek salad topped with smooth feta cheese and ripe red tomatoes, spinach pie, baked herb chicken, roasted potatoes, seasoned rice and leg of lamb (which my childhood memories of raising these stupid but adorable animals prevented me from eating...that and the fact that my sister repeatedly remarked that it tasted like a ram in rut). The meal was complete all on it own and then they brought the very best coffee that has ever passed these lips accompanied by the flakiest loveliness that is real baklava.



Our last day visiting my sister and her family included another walk, this time in the biting cold, to a candy shop reminiscent of the 1950's. Papa gave Tony the $20.00 handshake to treat his grand kids to the sugary-goodness. Each child filled their bags with their own stockpile of jellie bellies, chocolates and giant golden coins. Dealing with the sugar high was worth knowing that Papa would be smiling back home at his long-distance spoiling.



We came home with satiated bellies, happy hearts and anticipation for the Christmas holiday when we will see each other again.

Monday, November 16, 2009

home again home again jiggity jig jig

We went to a little town called Sycamore about an hour outside Chicago to visit my dear sister and her family.

We visited.
We laughed.
We explored.
We learned.
We walked.
We planned.
We bent the law.
We delighted in native and foreign delicacies
(more to come on this later).
We appreciated urban nature.


We had a wonderful and relaxing time. We miss them already.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I smell like a charter bus

That is what I said to Tony when I got home at 10:00, my little man in tow. That cloaking smell of velvety rubber with a hint of metallic was infused into my clothes and had seeped into my son's hair.

He asked me how it went, with his head cocked to the side expecting the worst.

I paused for a moment while my brain quickly reflected on the day we spent at the Pacific Science Center. I found several memories amassed in my mind. There was the immediate realization, as the bus moved down the road, that this would be a trip filled with nausea. There was the severe winds that added to the bob and weave of the bus. There was the repetitive thought that somehow the unthinkable would happen and I would have robbed Tony of a son and missed my daughter's life unfold because I selfishly wanted a piece of my family on this trip. There was the onslaught of carbs and the fact that I seem to be in a bubble that repels Diet Pepsi because none could be found. There was the disappointment that the facility cancelled part of the exhibit because of a memorial service. There was the fact that they moved our lunch to a cramped, untidy staff room. There was the ever-present fear that one of my 38 precious teen charges may turn up missing, injured or on some graffiti artist most wanted list (we are dealing with un-developed frontal lobes here). There was the chill still in my bones from waiting with a very respectful and thoughtful student whose parents just happen to be an hour late. Oh and there was the before mentioned permeating soft stench of the bus.

But then I felt the squeeze of Aidan's arm around my middle as he is want to do lately. I remembered how after holding the door open for him as we entered the house he looked at me and said, "Thank you Mom. Thank you for taking me on this trip."

"It was wonderful." was my reply.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

my main man

They say there is nothing like your first love. They are right. They forgot to mention that there is nothing like the love of your first born. Nothing.

I love this boy fiercely.
I love every fiber of his being, including the goofey smile fibers, the nerdy joke fibers and the fibers that teach me again and again how to love every creature on earth.

He loves me.
He loves me even as I try to write the pages of the parenting manual. You know the one, the one that should have come with him. The one he deserved so there wouldn't be so much trial and error. The one that his sister has benefited from time and time again. The one that would have saved us both some tears along the way. The one that would have given explicit directions on how to laugh off the struggles.

I will be on the road for 8 hours on Friday. I am going to tuck my main man away in my carry on for entertainment. I am going to pay special attention to his unique vantage point of the world and learn what I can. I am going to love every minute of it.
I can hardly wait.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

pumpkin-palooz

I love that the pumpkins Tony worked diligently to grow have provided us with so many memory-making photo-ops.



I love that we have great friends to share the pumpkin fun with.

I love that I came home to a perfectly baked chicken, and that I didn't have to bake it.

I love that my children have a wonderful grandma who will take care of them when they have an ear infection.

I love communal eating.

I love how everyone supports us in rationalizing with the irrational Noni when she won't eat, because really we all just want her to be healthy.

I love watching the intensity of loved ones when they carve pumpkins.




I love how Lexi has deep-rooted stories with our family.

I love the gruesome giggle Nadia makes when she squeezes the pumpkins innards.

I love how Aidan sets Sara up for classic one-liners and she returns the favor.

I love that my kids are old enough to be trusted with carving tools (mostly).

I love how we can bounce from deep philosophical conversation to laughing our patooties off at completely inane, completely inappropriate potty humor.



I love how carved pumpkins smell when they are cooking from their little candles.

I love how meticulously Aidan picks out the seeds so he can roast them.


I love how Trevor has a recipe for bacon-flavored pumpkin seeds.

I love how everyone was patient with me while I insisted that every candle was lit and re-lit for a commemorating photo.



but oddly enough, I really can't stand the process of carving pumpkins.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

no better way (amended to read, I spoke too soon)


to spend a saturday night
than
cuddled up with Tony
in my fuzzy Mario p.j.'s
watching a movie
and eating chocolate.





except
this little one woke up
just minutes after
the end of the movie
ear pain, tears
snuggles, Motrin
restless night
walk in clinic in the morning
puke in the sink
(sorry we missed the arrogant
doctor's pleated-front pants
)
finally antibiotics

no better way to spend a sunday than baby-ing my sick Nonikins
and cleaning the house

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

toilets, urinals and such

I have lost my voice, most of it anyway. When the whisper of my vocal cords decides to catch mid syllable, always mid syllable, my voice sounds exactly like the flushing toilet in our last house when there was sand trapped in the tank. It may not register at the same decibel level, but I do think I have nailed the screeching-witch-like pitch.

Aidan has learned a crafty use for school toilets and it goes a little something like this: see toilet, remember school is boring, insert vomit, go home for the rest of the afternoon. The good news is that he is wicked-smart, I have the grandmotherly-sweet school nurse as a second opinion. Oh to be just eight and to have already mastered how to get around the mundane-ness of elementary education. What he hadn't counted on is a mother who has "been there, done that, and now knows how to sleuth out a malingerer", or the community service that faking an illness will earn you.

I have learned that in certain restaurants, hotels and the like they put ice in the men’s urinals. Why did it take me 32 years of life to learn this? 1. I am not a man so I don’t frequent men’s restrooms. 2. I have never thought to ask, I assumed the fanciest thing in a men’s restroom might be little bedazzled dividers so men don’t have to abide by the ‘leave a urinal between’ rule. 3. Again, I am not a man, so no where in my little mind is there room for the idea of making peeing a recreational sport.

I now have a new (soon to be ex) classroom pet. He (I am choosing to believe he is a he but it takes a professional herper to properly 'probe' a snake to learn it's sex) is a bullsnake. Snakes eat mice. I like mice. I don't want to watch a snake eat something that I think is cute. Ergo, snake will be finding a new home. How does this relate to toilets? He is the victim of a high school prank cleverly called 'put a snake in the bathroom and see who screams'.

Tony just shared with me that at his work the wall that separates the men's urinals and the women's loo is paper thin. We're talking thin enough to hear zippers people! That is just creepy.

I wanted to give a coworker a swirly when they sent a messenger to ask me if I planned on making it a habit of meeting the needs of my class of students who were begging to be educated and meeting student's need for photocopied materials come between said coworker and their coffee break. Ok maybe it didn't happen just like that, but seriously, what is the big deal if a student respectfully walks into the open teacher lounge (one of 4!), quietly copies a paper, and then quickly walks back to class? Are the adults so afraid that the student will divulge all of the faculty secrets they were gossiping about or is it that they are afraid that they were just caught not doing their job, you know the one where they were suppose to be in their classrooms helping young minds reach their potential? Wow! That felt way better than a swirly!

I find it curious that weekly we have a pink ring of fungi around the water-line in one of our toilets. What does the pink mold have against the other potties? Why pink? I am not complaining because who would want green, or even brown mold in their can?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

not me (a plea not a declaration)

And there it floated, I imagine it floated anyway. That inconsequential, yet completely overpowering teensy invisible pathogen into my nasal cavity where it multiplied then divided, doing its little mathmatical reproductive dance, until my body yielded to it's tiny itsy bitsy little whim...

and there you have it...

I am sick.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

strange but true

I project feelings of self doubt on my stripped throw pillow and try to placate it by making certain it's stripes are always in the vertical position.

Aidan refuses to drink out of plastic cups because he is sure he can taste other people's left over spit.

I hesitate to use the word obsessed, but I am slightly obsessed with having a fully stocked pantry.

I talk to my cat and he answers.

Tony, my uber-hard working husband, has been known to spend the better part of a day hold up in the bath tub with a good book and nothing for nourishment but pistachio nuts and beef jerky.

Nadia sings every request. Every single request from "can I have a glass of milk to will you read me a book".

I do not have a problem buying black high heels. Actually, it is quite easy for me.

I have zero shame about cutting my hair in the same style as my daughter's and also, without even a pang of shame, look forward to the day that she wears a size 7 shoe so we can share that too.

I fantasize about sorting things...ribbon, utensils, pencils, sheets... but absolutely loath sorting papers of any kind.

Aidan likes to drop the word mundane in casual conversation.

I fell in love with a beautiful owl in a rehabilitation center no bigger than my palm that had eyes the size of dollar coins and have loved all owls ever since.

Tony doesn't like whip cream. Who doesn't like whip cream?

I feel self conscious when people ask me what my favorite color is because the color I love most is crisp, clean, sassy black.

I felt awkward today when a guest speaker in my class described me as normal looking for a woman in the field of science.

I love the strangness that fills our home.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

verified by fall

For some, simple enjoyment comes from telescoping and rotating roasting forks...

...for others it comes from shiny, matching ladels to serve three kinds of homemade soup.



Inviting friends over helps the whole family break out of their insulatory shell......and it reminds me that sticks make festive centerpieces.



We live in a beautiful part of the country...

...and the wonderment of clouds will never cease to amaze me.




My children have a lot of really wonderful friends...

...and Aidan does stop moving once in a while.




Girls rock...
...and I think that is awesome.




I am saddened every year to see the warmth of summer fade...
...but I do love the coziness of fall.





Even as I was missing some friends and family who couldn't make it, I was reminded that I have some pretty terrific friends (like this one who knows how to wear a fantastic green jacket and jump into help without being asked)...
...and I seriously need to get my greys touched up.




The wii still provides some great entertainment...
...but is no compitition for fire, s'mores and the chance to play in the spooky graveyard.




Nadia and Aidan are old enough to roast their own goodies...
...and I am proud of the responsible kids they are growing up to be.




And speaking of fire, this fall verified that fire not only warms the body, but kindles conversation...
...and it will always be really, really cool.