Sunday, December 23, 2012

the happiest season of all

happy for a break.
happy for time with each other.
happy to make memories with cousins near and far.
happy to get time with grandparents who make our kids feel loved.
happy to stuff some stockings and happy to stuff our faces.

and happily wishing you a very merry christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2012

festivus of tony

great friends shared with us the idea of a birthday week, rather than just a day. 

celebrate tony for more than one day?  i'm in.

and a tradition of the festivus of tony begins.  and not a moment too soon.  this guy is 36 years old!

and we love every single thing about him...
his generous heart,
his handiness,
his contagious laughter,

and most of all, we love him for the way he loves us.

happy birthday tony.
melanie, aidan, nadia, spark, margo, gordo, eclipse, razor, all the quail you feed in the backyard, the future reindeer and the lonely little betta.

where tragedy takes us

we have been walking around with heavy hearts since friday's sandyhook tragedy. 

we are trying to find the lessons in all of this, the sense in all of this, the something that will set things right.  i know we all are. 
tony and i look at each other and find a surge of love.  we look at our children and surge again.  we look at a child in a cart at the grocery store, and there it is again.  we put together our teacher gifts, and again our hearts surge.  and we see the pictures of the lost and focus our energy there.  i refuse to hear anything about the man that did this.  tragedy has taken us away from the sensationalism.  it has taken us closer to home.  tragedy takes us to find those who helped, those who saved and to comfort those who lost, including all those who lost their innocence.

like many have said before, and i pray that is what prevails, i hope humanity focuses our love and attention on the victims.

it's a delicate thing.  it's not our tragedy, but it is.  it is all of ours. 
we have faith that a focus on love, a focus on loss, a focus on life, will carry us through. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

older is fun too

remember when they were four?  i loved four.  sometimes i wish for four.  all of the questions.  all of the curiosity. 
but at four, they don't get your jokes and they don't joke around with you. 
at four, they could give a giant crappola about world events and economy and war and chloroplasts (unless a certain someone happens to tell them about starving children who don't get chocolate milk and don't have homes). 
then they care, but they don't really get it.

at nine and eleven they get your jokes.  even when you don't want them too.
big enough to empty the dishwasher....score!
they are big enough to give you 3 second piggy back rides.

when you have a bad day at work because of a bunch of meenie poo poo heads, they wrap their arms around you tight and say, "tell me all about it mom".   and then they listen.  like really listen.
i love that. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

what i want for my children

i read this article, that i got from here, had me reflecting all over the place. messily reflecting too. like a few snot-sobs and heart-clenches because if i had to pick just one thing, it would be that my children grow up to ?????
but what?
what do i really want for them? 

i used to say i didn't want my kids to grow up to be jerks.  ok, really what i did was beg the powers that be to please not let my children grow up to be a-holes someday.
then i started hearing all the mumbo jumbo (that i really do buy into) about sending positive energy out into the world.  no more putting those negatives out there to percolate and make something of their not-so-positive selves. 

so here it is. in working document form-
i positively want my kids to::: 

:::accept responsibility for their impact on this world. 
there are a lot of opportunities to screw things up in this life.  to that end, i want them to know how to ask for forgiveness, give forgiveness and make amends.

:::speak up for those that don't have a voice. 
animals and people alike.  they should expect kindness and i hope they strive to treat all beings with empathy and understanding.  walk a mile in another's shoes.

:::lend a hand.
whenever they can, help.  without asking, without expecting a return.  small things, big things, all of it shows love.  i want them to know that every time they help someone, they are freeing that person from a burden, if even a small one, if even just holding a door while offering a smile or if even just picking up spilled papers.  sometimes it means giving that person the motivation to keep going.  sometimes it is giving themselves the motivation to keep going.

:::always be on a quest to learn. 
actively learn.  about themselves, about others, about the world, about learning, and learn about silly things and science things, and artistic things and philosophical things.  i want them to feel full filled in their brains.  i want them to know that if they are open to learning then they are open to making this world a better place.  lofty, i know.  but if not them, then who? 

:::feel loved.
that simple. 

so that's it.  for now. 
i hope to revisit this one, add on if i see the need.  i hope to see what wishes tony wants for these two.  won't it be wonderful if putting my wants out there works?  i feel like it might. 

put it out there.
revisit it to make sure i am nurturing these things.
have children who make a difference in their own world.

seems plausible.
i hope. i hope. i hope. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

**cough** **cough**

i'm here again.  on the couch, waiting out the coughing.  this time it is nadia.
we have all had our turn with this little bug. 
it's one that really likes to hang on tight and tickle your alveoli. 

aidan is quite put out because he didn't get to stay home when he was coughing. 
i tried to make it up to him with a salami omelet and a fancy schmancy lunch.  we will see if his mood improves by the time he gets home. 

and yes, mom. i have a pot of water boiling. and she had pudding. and, no, i don't think it is whooping cough, but the way she hacked last night makes me to nervous to skip a second opinion.

as the first opinion, this has been a difficult call.  it is just a cough.  a little runny nose.  a bit of a sore throat.  no fever.  no barfing.  but we are going on 3 weeks of this nonsense.  do i take her to the doctor?  do i keep her home and resting?  do i just beef up her immune system with a crap load of garlic and oranges?  i feel like i should know what to do here since i have over 11 years on the job training, but i just don't.  we even watched videos online listening to different cough types.

so here's our plan.  all of the above. plus watch a little white christmas and a little funny youtube videos.  who knows which will be the thing that works, but here's hoping we don't have too many more nights of head splitting coughing fits. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

sometimes the best moments aren't free

uggghhh. my head was swimming with dollar signs all weekend long.  every where i turned, here's a deal, here's a bargain, here's a way to blow a paycheck. 

since when did the matinee showing mean the 11:25 am showing and when did we become one of the suckers that have to pay full price?

and a couple handfuls of popcorn, fruit snacks and a bag of reeces cost you 40 bones? 

and sushi after racks up another $50?

and then you start to believe you are actually bleeding receipt paper?

it's stressing me out, man.  it's overwhelming.  all the black friday this, the deals that.
it makes me feel blechy. 

i am not the budgeteer of our family.  vacuuming, mowing and bill-paying are tony's departments.  (we are still trying to figure out exactly what my department it).  but all this spending, spending, spending is starting to weigh on me. 

but there were two moments that night that seemed worth the high price tag:::

during the rise of the guardians, i looked over at nadia and realized just how old she is getting.  she had her legs crossed at the knee and her hands clasped in her lap.  her sweet head was tilted slightly, obviously engrossed in the story.  without looking at me, she reached over and squeezed my hand.

how could i not melt at that?

for the second moment we need to revisit a little history... nani is known to state the obvious, thus captain obvious, or coco, became a loving little nickname.  she is also known as muffin-butt, nani-b, sweet nani, poppy, but i digress...
aidan said 'here's our car' as we were climbing in.  without missing a beat nadia said, "well heeellllooo coco!"

would you believe aidan laughed the hardest?

Thursday, November 22, 2012



that is the sigh of contentment.

my belly is full.
my heart is full.
my fridge is full.

and i am so very thankful.

our thankful turkeys tell it all. 
tony's turkey says it with sunglasses and side-swept tail feathers because he is kinda fancy when he's feeling thankful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

about me

i scrutinized that list to the right with my head cocked to the side all studious like. i over analyzed it like i am want to do. i should probably update it because that me was so 2007.  after 5 years of compiling this stuff, surely i should need to cross a few things off....

but it is all still me. i wouldn't delete even one little thing, but i might consider a few tweaks.

i am still learning to bake. that's a nice, long learning curve people.
i am still a systems developer. my silverware sorting system still reigns supreme.
i am still mourning the loss of the great arrested development.

i might add 'dabbling runner', because sometimes that is what i call myself. i can't say i am a full fledged runner because i haven't been committed to it for an entire year. and a year is my own arbitrary criteria. so at this point, i dabble.

i might add crochet-er in place of craft-er because my only crafts lately are scarves, scarves and more scarves.

i might change mother to mother of aidan and mother of nadia because those two jobs are entirely different.

and i am still a hopeless tony devotee. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

pretty fly

i get all awkward and gushy and usually incoherent (due to my foot being in my mouth) when i try to properly express how i feel.
i feel like lola in the book i love you so much...
such a sweet book 

those words of love, or gratitude, or appreciation, or words that ask for forgiveness just have to get out.

so here it is dad and mom.
i will try not to get too gushy...
thank you for the light belt.  i hope you know how much it means to me. 
not to mention, i look pretty fly with it on.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

take the time

the mornings are far less crazy then they used to be, but less crazy is still crazy.

usually mornings are littered with requests for children to brush their hair, put pants on, wipe down the counters, for the love of all that is good on planet earth please brush your teeth.

but this morning the requests were aimed at me.

nadia, who feels that a brush within 10 feet of her is a special kind of torture, asked me to curl her hair.  whoa!
and aidan, who has taken to wearing old school faded sweatpants and would easily pair that with a button up shirt, asked me to help him pick out his clothes.

the fact that i was late already was a very fleeting thought.
that little voice in my head that tries to see the bigger picture screamed, 'take the time". 
so a few curls were put in her hair. a pair of pants that actually fit were pulled down from a high up shelf.

i feel sucky at this mothering thing when i am making all of those requests 
but today feels good. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

sometimes you have to go with it

tony says we are going to get her hooked on surfing and snowboarding so she has an excuse for her perpetually tangled hair. 
 but even with messy hair, she still melts me with that face. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

a vote for aidan...updated

is a vote to be informed.

that sounds about right.  he is usually at the ready with information. 
he wasn't nervous before.  in fact, he kept yawning while he was sitting in his little row of candidates.  i was shaking like a crazy caffeine addict.  after though, he told me he felt like he had just experienced acid rain!

i would say something like 'fingers crossed that he wins asb secretary', but really, i am already so proud of him that winning is a small thing. 
i mean look at him!

and the winner is...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

you know it

i have the best husband around.

i know i don't need to say it. i know i am totally bragging.  i know that i am lucky beyond words.
but i'm going to write it all down anyway.

i went to boise with a car load of pretty cool girls this weekend. 

we actually paid money and got up early to have people throw paint on us while we ran down the road in the freezing cold. 
ummmm, yea...
it. was. awesome!!!

and so what does a tony do all weekend?

he made bread. because he rocks.
and zuppa tuscana, like only the worlds best soup.
he painted nadia's face like a hollywood about hidden talents.
and he sewed a complete amoeba costume for aidan.

plus i came home to a clean house and a fancy pants dinner and a smile that melts my heart.
do i love me some tony-tony-toninater?
you know it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

this one is for you

yes, you, grandpa john.
also known as the bacharts on the other side of the mountains.
and you too, papa ike.

the two fellas in our life that call to tell us we have not been keeping up our memory keeper.

sadly, i have no stories to tell though.  or maybe so many that they are all muddled up in my overloaded brain.  the time is flying faster than margo can cover a clean pair of pants with freshly gooey slobber.  if you have not experienced it, it is super fast.

but here are some pictures of the lickity split life we live.  pictures and blurps.  but no stories...busy busy busy, remember?

nadia and i had a girl's weekend.  the boys went camping with the scouts, so we started painting her room, shopped a little and went out to eat- her choice - mongolian.  she has come into her own in the school realm.  just when i think she is going to be a mini-me, floating through school in her little dream world, she turns on her tony genes and starts rocking her academics.

 we are still trying to be active.  sometimes it sucks.  sometimes we end at the park. 

aidan spent a few days barfing but is back to his usual crazy self.  that crazy self includes a lot of mindcraft, a lot of snuggling in his bed reading and rereading his favorite books, and setting up his own home gym in his room. 

tony has just been hanging around.

and spark has been unusually clingy.  and expressive.  and a little demanding. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

all i wanna do is zoom zoom zoom

and crochet.
it must be fall.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

differences between being a mom and being a dad

all come down to this...

yes, yes i am where you think i am.  and i am having a life changing conversation about goals.  why this couldn't wait until i was done, who knows?  i remember cornering my mom the same way.

tony, on the other hand, gets peace and quiet and solitude and a sign. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

never say never :: the running edition

never would i have thought that i would run a half marathon.
like, never-never.
here is my running history in 50 words...
i "ran" track.  big quotes on the run. i socialized and ran whatever race didn't have a body to fill it.  i didn't like it and it didn't like me. i ran for a brief 6 weeks while pregnant with aidan. my timing sucks. in 2008 i ran 2 blocks.

and then my nani b started girls on the run. annnnnnd then my friend karen said, 'hey, i know what will be fun! let's run a half marathon in september'.  annnnnnd then my friend lindsay said, 'i'll run bright and early in the morning even!'  annnnnnnd then there was jenn and jen getting their run on and encouraging me, probably without even realizing it.

and that is how my never turned into a what did i get myself into. 

i almost didn't sign up.  i had a million reasons not to.  but all of these amazing women kept saying i was capable.  my 11th hour coach sara basically said if i didn't register she would register me herself, and then she said she would make her husband run with me. (i let him off the hook) and of course there was tony telling me i was ready and he is really smart so it is hard not to buy into what he's saying.  i sorta started believing them all.

and that is how i went from what did i get myself into holy hellsbells i'm standing at the starting line with a dang chip strapped to my ankle and my knees shaking so hard i look like i am running in place without leaving the ground. 

but i did it. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

made my ever loving day

i was running,
and running,
and trying hard to run the nerves out of me,
and not running very far or very fast or even uphill, but man was i struggling.
struggling and feeling scatterbrained.

outta nowhere this guy drives by, rolls down his window and gives me a simple thumbs up. 

i take the 'share the road' relationship with motorists, walkers, cyclists, the occasional teeth-barred dog, very seriously.  when a car slows just a titch and scoots close to the middle, i give them a smile and little wave.  if a car crosses the yellow line to give me a wide berth, i smile ear to ear and give them the biggest wave i can manage.  when i'm doing the what-side-you-gonna-pass-on tango with a cyclists, you better believe i'm happy to jump off the path if i can just so they can avoid tackweeds.  the occasional motorist who yells encouragement out the window (i choose to believe it is all positive) might even get a giggle. 

but this guy, i wish i could have gotten a picture of his red truck with a wheel chair slung in the back and his thumbs up out the window.

like i said, he made my ever loving day.  i hope he knows it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

even with my brightside

you know that kelly clarkson song, even with my dark side?  i have been feeling that creep in and out, in and out, in and out of my days lately. 

tony has had atypical meetings last week and this week.  they could have -and did at first- put him in a gnarly mood.  then he decided to just learn something, anything, from the experience.
just like that. 
he changed his outlook and wha-bam ---better mood, giggly husband, playful dad.
so this morning when i drove away from home thinking about how much i'd rather be there than anywhere else, i decided to take a page from tony's book. 

i thought about how lovely it was that nadia made me a special snack last night.
and about the dance she put on.
and about the lecture on the importance of taking school seriously.
and about our special girl time when tony and aidan go to scouts.

and i thought about how thankful i was that i decided to play battleship with aidan while i cooked dinner.
i so badly wanted to tell him i was too busy.  i wanted to explain that i was tired from working all day and still had a list of stuff to do around the house.  and i might have too, but i couldn't say no to that face.  he kicked my booty too.  even that was worth it. 

and i saw this in my rear view mirror and decided to learn something today. 
i watched as car after car past with grumpypuss faces, their darksides showing.
maybe my learnin' for today is to let my brightside outshine the dark? 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

all better

i sulked a little yesterday.  ok, a lot.  stupid hormones i am sure. i watched trashy tv.  sanded the trim around the backdoor and repainted it.  got a neck rub from nadia and lots and lots of sympathy from tony and aidan let me pull a tooth.  friends reached out with kind words.  family called to make me smile.

and poof. 

funky-funky-not-so-fresh mood was gone.

and i didn't even resort to brownie-ice cream-goodness. 

i just waited for the squirrels to come rescue me from my bad mood.

and i came to the realization that i just a little nuts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


it is probably just from being tired.
or nerves about doing something new. 
or the changing season.
or schedule changes.
or lack of exercise.
or lack of a brownie in my mouth this very second, preferably smothered in ice cream.

or because i miss her
but i am feeling just a little blue today.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

plum tuckered

this new schedule it taken some getting used to. 
for me for sure.
for her, most definitely.

she spilled some big 'ol cleansing tears this morning.  all because i asked her to clean her fingernails. 

let's talk about fingernails for a moment.  i still wince at the thought of mine being cut.  my mom told me at a young age that i had pretty hands and from then on i cherished my long nails.  as the youngest, nails were a great way to get back at my biting sister or my brother who sat on my head more than once and let it rip...until my brother lured me to the neighbors out of earshot of my parents and cut them all off.  don't you worry your pretty little head about my nails though.  i grew them back with a vengeance and in my teen years convinced my dad that doing the dishes would ruin them.  somehow i managed to get out of dishes from the age of 14 until about 22.  nails can mean a lot to a girl.

back to my tired little girl.

while cleaning her nails, tears rolling down her sweet little cheeks the whole time, she confessed that she was really upset because her hands are just so pink.  "why mom, why do they have to be so pink? no one else has fingers this pink?  NO ONE!!!!!! it just isn't fair.  pink mom!  PINK!!!"

poor little thing.  its a good thing she is easy to console.  some hugs and loves and a little hand washing and she was good as new. 
it stinks being so plum tuckered that nothing becomes everything and so little sets you into a tailspin.  so we took the night off.  lazed around and i pretty much let her call the shots.  i didn't even complain when she wanted to give me a spa, painting my nails and everything. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

after school special

and before school special...

and during school special...
and back to school special...

because school is special, right?  it is so special that i have decided to spend my adult life living it up at school.  i love learning.  i love books.  i love tabs and folders and post its.  i love conversation.  i love-love-love pens in an array of colors.  and i love little notes that help us remember to make the most of every day.

and i especially love that these two get to go to school and love those things too. 

it is 5th grade for him...

and 4th grade for her...

and six sections of tenth graders again this year for me...


Monday, August 27, 2012

backpack, backpack

gotcha.  you thought this was going to be a back to school post.  nope.  no sir-ee.  my head is officially still in the sand.  instead, this is a smooshy gooshy lovey dovey post about tony.

see that backpack?
that backpack is tony taking care of us. that's what he does.  i can't tell you what that means to me.  i can't because there are no words to describe that kind of love.  that kind of appreciation.  that kind of protectiveness. 

he and i tried to come up with a word for how that feels once.   we picked schmegal.  no real word or serious word or intelligent word fits, so we picked something ridiculous that fills your mouth up with all sorts of sounds at once.   

so that's it.  i schmegal you tony. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

cry if i want to

i don't want it to end.
this whole getting paid while staying home thing. 
it's a pretty sweet deal. 
(excuse me while i climb atop my high and mighty teacher horse, but it's not like i didn't work at all this summer.  i had unpaid trainings, meetings to make sure next year our kids are well taken care of, emails out my wazzu to make sure that whatever part i have in helping teachers is also taken care of and planning, planning, planning.  really what i am saying is support teachers.  support education.  we all work way more than we are paid too and we are all just a smidge tired of hearing how we get the whole summer off.  i'll get off this blasted horse now.)

and tomorrow i have to go back to work.  like all day.  and the next day.  and repeat that until eternity which in this case just so happens to be june 7, 2013...

no more staying up as late as tony, just because we can.
no more sleeping in until a snuggler comes to bed to talk to me.
no more hanging out with the cool moms during swim team practice. 
no more tan legs and big floppy hats and no more tank tops and flip flops.
no more doing the laundry little by little.  too soon i will go back to saving it all up for a day of sunday washing & folding fun.
no more driving up to huntsville to visit grammie & papa just because.
 no more baking cookies in the sun.
no more running in the morning or running till way too dark, probably.
no more riding our bike to fro yo, or the open air market, or the park on a weeknight.
no more fun family fridays.

no more haphazard, lazy, spontaneous, lovely days of summer.

i want to throw a good old fashioned tantrum.  the kind where i roll around on the floor and pound my fists and spit when i yell because it is all just so unfair---when really it is not about fair and unfair.  it just feels a little unfinished.  i want to do more of all of that, make more of all of those memories. 

now it's all pencils and schedules and buses and lesson planning and blah blechity boopy barf barf.

i better change my attitiude.