Saturday, January 30, 2010

32 & 33

Sanguine Sara...happy birthday my dear friend.  I recently told you I keep you around because you think I am funny.  While that is a definate perk, the truth is, I keep you around because you are uplifting, either through your humor (humor that is possibly only matched by Tony in my book), or by your insightful questioning that always leaves me feeling like I have thought myself through a mindful 5K.  I hope your 32nd year brings you answered prayers and a joy akin to what you bring to our lives.


Luminous Monique...a very happy birthday to you.  I wish I could be there to help you celebrate your birthday!  While I do love the phone calls and occasional facebook connection, I so miss the beautiful light that you shine on everyone around you.  May all of your birthday wishes be granted and may you be spoiled with all of the kindness that you usually dole out. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

who wouldn't LOVE this!

She told us about this and WOW, what a giveaway!  If you love Seattle then you really should check this out.  And really, who doesn't love Seattle?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

about Tuesday

Today is not Tuesday of course.
Today is Thursday.
Thursday is the day before Friday.
I am reminded of this each and every Thursday.
Friday is daddy day.
This Friday is special because it is pajama day AND daddy day AND figures with fathers day!

But this is about Tuesday, not Thursday or Friday.

On Tuesday Aidan competed in the Pine Wood Rocket Derby for his pack.  He won his first three heats with the banana yellow and red popscicle looking rocket.  He placed third overall. 
It was chaos.  It was fun- 8 year old boy, running, squealing, cheerful, sugared chaos, as told by Tony.

On Tuesday Nadia and I went to the first Chiawana-Pasco Basketball game.  She danced to the Marching Band.  She cheered for the points scored.  She asked me questions.  She watched the cheerleaders with indifference.  She wanted popcorn and decided that the neck and neck intensity wasn't worth wasting away over.  We gave up our seats to one of the ten or so families standing on the stairs, got our popcorn and headed home.  But not before the Riverhawks chanted "This is OUR house" as CHS finished in the lead. 

All of this Tuesday-ness and neither Tony nor I had the camera.  Phumph! 

Monday, January 25, 2010

weekend photo montage

You would think we spend our entire lives gathering with family and friends, celebrating and EATING, but in fact we spent the majority of the weekend thinning out out grown toys and deep-cleaning the house.  Trust me, these pictures, even the slightly disturbing ones, are a lot more enjoyable than all of that. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

a day in the life of me

I am sure someday Aidan and Nadia will wonder who exactly their mother was. They may wonder what she did all day or perhaps what went on inside her perfectly odd melon. Well, here it is...all times are approximate…

2:00 am- toss and turn and be thankful for a husband who lets the dog out in the middle of the blessed night.

3:00 am’ish- fall back asleep

4:30 am- scoop Aidan up and stick him in the middle because a) I already know he had a nightmare, b) the kid’s a dang furnace when he sleeps and I haven’t a chance of catching a wink if I am sandwiched between him and Tony

5:40 am- scootch Aidan over because Tony is already down with the dog and Nadia wants to snuggle. Try to squeeze 15 more minutes of sleep out of the night

5:45 am- realize it is futile, brush my teeth and head downstairs to see Tony. Tony is missing. My intuition says he has gone to get me a donut. Head up to the shower.

Almost 6 am- Nadia, Tony and Margo all greet me as I wrap up, all three apparently on a sugar high from just hearing the word donut.  Wake Aidan with smooches and secretly like that he is snuggled in my bed.

6:15 am- answer the phone, talk to my sister

6:20 am- answer the phone, talk to my brother

6:40 am- answer the phone, talk to my dad & my mom while I enjoy my enormous donut

7:00 am- leave for work and arrive in just 4 minutes.

7:04 am- answer emails, send emails, turn on some music, talk about tests, talk about biology, enjoy a cupcake & diet pepsi, realize I am seriously in need of restraint, enter grades, plan lessons, make shopping list, check cnn & msnbc & my blog, make color-coordinated labels for EVERYTHING I can think of, make vocabulary lists, clean up after slovenly students and wait for my first final.

10:00 am- give first final, wonder why 15 - 16 year olds are physically incapable of being silent for 90 minutes, wonder why I can't pick my own classes, decide if I could, I would keep this group ALL day.  Wonder if Aidan is enjoying music today. Think how interesting it is the classification of musical instruments that rocks his musical world right now.  Wonder if Nadia has drawn me anything today.  Wonder if she really will move to Paris someday and start the count down to when I can retire and holiday with her.

11:30 am- hightail it the 1/4 mile from my room to the front entrance, hop in Sara's ride and let her buy me lunch.  Savor the greatness that is Taco Bell.  Drink another DP.

12:25 pm- give second final, input grades and count the minutes until I am done.  Ponder all of lifes choices laid out neatly before me. Feel blessed.  Feel loved.  Miss my kids.  Miss my husband.  Check my email just in case he sent a note. 

1:52 pm- turn 33

1:55 pm- release the beasts who are wired from two days of testing, grade and tie up loose ends before 2 family days and a mommy day, feel really accomplished after doing so much dreaded paperwork.

3:45 pm- go home to a clean house, a passing sewage inspection, and my perfect husband

3:55 pm- get the kids off the bus, squeeze them, love them, hug them, ask them about thier day and squeeze them again for good measure (pronounced mae-zur).

4:00 pm- open my present from my dear sister and from Tony because both are impatient.  I promise it is them and not me.  My sister rocks the knitting needles and I will be all snuggly-relaxing with my new book from Tony and blanket from Andria.   I spent the next two-ish hours watching Aidan and Nadia be kids.

6:00 pm- Dinner at Emerald of Siam's with my Mom, Dad, brother and his family, Sara & Trevor, Pauline, and of course my brood. 

7:30 pm- back at home eating cake and cake and more cake.  Oh and cherry chip ice cream.  Oh and I opened presents.  Lovely presents of my favorite things.  And with lovely people. 

9:00 pm- send my lovelies off to bed.

9:30 pm- off to bed myself, just a little bit older, not too much wiser, but feeling very loved.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

brotherly advice

On Monday, while Aidan was on a playdate (actually I think he would prefer me to say hanging out with a friend now because he is so over playdates), Nadia and I made a detour to Viera's to pick up an after dinner treat. The girl says to me, and I quote, "Mama, I know what a girl's secret weapon against boy is."

I know for certain that is what she said because when your snowy six year old says something that seems to elude to womanly wiles you pay very close attention. She is no stranger to the toot witticism, and the child can belch like a full grown man, but she still shields my eyes demurely when people kiss on TV.

I tried to play it cool and said, "oh yeah, what?"

She says, "uuhhhhhh, never mind, I don't like to speak of it in public."  Who is she?  A 19th century highborn?

No, no...seriously, this is what she said to me.

I pressed on, "Well now I am curious, what is a girl’s secret weapon against a boy?"

"Well you know how dad calls it a dink sometimes?" she asks innocently.

I press my lips together so as not to giggle. A dink, in case you’re wondering, is exactly what you think it is. Aidan has a little trouble keeping his clothes on. In fact, he takes his clothes off at any opportunity or fails to put them on completely. Tony can be heard, at regular intervals, saying, "Aidan, cover your dink!" I have acclimated to a certain level of naked-ninny-ness in my house and so rarely bat an eyelash at the sight of a spare tush.

"Yes, Noni, I know what a dink is." I say, trying to encourage her to continue.

"Well, Aidan said that if a boy ever tries to take my love away from you then I should just kick them in the dink. I think that would hurt really bad so maybe I will just tell him he has to put on cut-offs and a tank top and go stand in a blizzard."

I say, "hmmm, I think you are right, that would hurt very bad. Maybe you could just tell him that you love me and only me?"   (This should keep boys at bay for at least 10 years, right?)

With her hand on her chin, contemplating the solution she nods like the light bulb turned on and says, "Good idea Mama!"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

a story of a lassitudes me and the subsequent suffering of a good man

Tony's first words to me this morning were, "I'm mad at you. You are a really hard sleeper". My first thought was, are you kidding me? If the kids even whisper my name, I am up. If the dog whimpers, I am awake. Apparently last night was an exception.

It wasn't Nadia waking from the horror of the playground ghost tales that have been circulating her school.

It wasn't Aidan waking to tell me of a headache, a belly ache, or a cool new charactor he thought up.

It wasn't Margo protesting the travisty of sleeping downstairs without her beloved Tony or letting us know that she didn't want to relieve herself in her crate.

It was the doorbell. Actually, it was about 352 chimes of the doorbell. Tony said at first it rang just a tentative ding-dong. Then a more urgent ding-dong-ding-dong-ding-dong-ding-dong. Then at the last a merry little tune of ding-di-di-ding-do-do-dong-di-do-ding-dong. There was even pounding on the door, the windows and I think a curse or two.

All the while I dreamt of sugar fairies dancing a-top a beautiful cake that was flanked by not one but TWO diet pepsi fountains. 

You would think that since he was so aware of the visitor he would have let them in himself!

But I guess that is hard to do when you are the one on the frigid side of the bolt.  When you are the good man who stays up until ten to take the the dog out one last time before retiring to bed you run the risk of locking yourself out.  You would think you could count on someone to miss you when you have not returned after 20 minutes.  He said he was certain he was going to have to sleep outside with nothing for warmth but his hat, coat, short-shorts and a very confused Margo.  I resisted suggesting that he could have asked the outside cat to share his blankie and instead considered myself very lucky that one-he was laughing this off and two-when he did return to bed he did not even try to wake me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

fettered and unfettered

During lunch I drive the four minute commute back home to let Margo out, as this is my latest charge. So much for simplifying life. This responsibility, adding a beloved dog to our family not the task of letting her out, has added complexity to our lives but it has also kept us home more, reminded us of patience and growing pains, and has brought the simple joys of laughing your tail off at all things puppy. These are simple pleasures. Pure pleasures. Shared pleasures.

Today this task brought the stirrings of unbridled spring fever. Spring fever is my own special brand of torture that I have suffered from yearly from age 16 on. Driving back I reveled in the sun-baked smell of the dashboard. My mind flashed to the possibility of just passing by the entrance to work, arriving outside of the squatty-fat building that holds my love captive. Stealing him away. The two of us finding a patch of sun, warming a grass-covered path, that is begging to be hiked. I thought about the contradiction of the liberating weight of my sunglasses against my nose, and the burden of the lanyard around my neck. In the end, the gravity of my keys and 8G thumbdrive dangling at the end of the lanyard (and the responsibility to the youth of America of course) pulled my car into the lot.

My body may have been fettered to this daily routine but my mind was unfettered, free to roam the possibilities of the coming weekend. Today, no amount of whining from my sweet pupils could get me to close the blinds. They remained open and I counted down the hours to Friday afternoon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Or at least they are...

Aidan made a feast of Green Chicken Curry with Rice and Coconut Mango Smoothies. He does not enjoy cooking, but does like working toward his cub scout requirements.

He set the table and waited on us. We ate like royalty...
and Tony and I were left to clean like servants).

And another culinary adventure lead us to Nadia making french toast. She is a pretty darn good cook!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

girl time

The other night as I snuggled up with Nadia in her twin bed we had a laugh attack like no other. Everything she said brought me to stitches. Every expression I made doubled her over with giggles that emanated from her toes.
Last night in the shower, she and I sang the Star Spangled Banner at the top of our lungs. She capped off our performance with an improv with a voice that I can only describe as a possession from the depths of the underworld meets Cali-girl. No one does the Valley-Girl-Princess-of-Darkness like Nadia.

Tonight, while doing pistachio math, she stopped, squared off and thanked me for helping her be a math girl.
I want to squeeze these moments in time, squish them deep into my heart so I will always be able to pluck them out when ever I need a little girl time.
I hope she can do the same.