Wednesday, January 25, 2012

35 happened

on sunday i turned 35.  my dad likes to say that you have lived 35 years and now you are working on number 36.  it sounds scary.  like life is half over scary.  but that is not until i am 39 1/2, and i know this because a very old carny woman told me at the county fair that i will live to be 79.  that gives me a strange bit of comfort.  tony, she said, will be 81.  i like that he outlives me, but i am hoping i die at 79 and 364 days and he dies at 81 on the dot because i don't want to be apart that long.  301 days if you were counting. 

but really who wants to think about that?  let's talk about presents!

mother nature gifted me with a couple extra days with my family thanks to the snow. that was exactly what i needed. well that, and breakfast in bed and a sweet scavenger hunt.  and wings... and chocolate cake that says you are 21 and then sucker punches you with a ha ha... and ice cream.

i am hear to tell you my fine feathered friends, mid thirties have got it going on.  you are young enough to be fun and to have fun. you are old enough to take things as they come, because it always works out in the end.  you know the difference between being alive and living.  you are more sure of yourself.  you laugh at your mistakes.  you own your insecurities.  you enjoy learning new things like never before.  you love every detail of the life around you because even the not so pretty parts are proof that you are living.

Friday, January 20, 2012

hang on tight

let's talk about siblings.  i think of them as memory keepers.  i'm so glad i have mine, even though their memories are a bit skewed sometimes.  for the record i did perfect the 'pet the kitty your sibling is holding just so, distract with cute kitten conversation, next thing you know the kitty is now in my arms' move, but i didn't employ it every time they had a kitten.  just most of the time.  exaggerators. 

i do have a limited memory and often need their spark to get it all straight back in my head. i consider my sister and brother to be the best gifts my parents every gave me.  technically, since i'm the baby, i was gifted to them, but whatever.  i appreciate their perspective and their listening ear and their support when i need it.  which brings me to my little darlings...

no not those two.  they are cute though.  and they love to sleep all snuggled up together. 

these two. 

i caught them snuggled up on the couch together.  we have two full sized couches and two chairs in our living room, but they chose to smash next to each other because that is just what they do. 

and then later, i found them like this. 

sharing a bowl of popcorn.  kicking back.  watching the tube.  they could have easily gotten two bowls, but sometimes this is just how they like to be, together. 

i hope when they are all grown and aidan is busy running his zoo and nadia is designing it, they manage to hang onto their relationship tight.  after all, they are the ones who will keep each others memories straight. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

what to do on a snow day

this is not a how to.  this is a what did.  or going to. 
it is really an ice day, not a snow day, so tobogganing down the local hill will so not happen for us. 

did i mention all of us?  as in the four of us? tony didn't get a snow day, but he did get a sore throat and bye bye red mama day.  red mama tried her hand at ice skating and lost.  it stinks.  like literally smells of burning car.  poor, poor, red mama and poor, poor, tony. 

so today we will spend reading, and lounging, and toasting our tootsies by the fire.  oh, and doing laundry and cleaning the house because someone is turning old this weekend.  and waiting for the insurance adjuster of course. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

little white blanket

just what i needed.  this little white blanket of snow that gave me an extra two hours. 

my kids slept till 8:07. 
my toenails are painted. 
i made some surprisingly tasty ghetto cinnamon rolls.
i talked to my mom, twice.
i blogged. 
i folded a load of laundry. 
and i hugged on these two, extra special hard. 

may i have a moment, please?

just one little moment on this here memory keeper to brag about my son? 

not because he creatively carved the hull out of his little boat to make a catamaran for the rain gutter regatta and didn't win one award.  not because he cleverly named it 'midas got it before i did' when he painted it gold, and not one person got it.  not because he lost every single race.  not because he calmly- yes, aidan calmly- told me that other kids were blocking him as he blew his little heart out through that pink straw, but that it was ok.  not maliciously blocking, mind you.  they are just excited little boys that want to be in the middle of the action.  but no out cries of injustice from aidan?! awesome. 

but that is not why i want to brag...

(and yes, i totally know i just bragged about all of those things, but i disguised it by saying that is not what i wanted to brag about, so it's all good, right?)

i want to boast about the character of my little man. 

you see, there was a little after competition drama that went down.  one boy's mom decided he couldn't blow through a straw because he is asthmatic.  now, i am not all unfair-advantage-stage-mom here or asthmatics-can't-participate, after all, aidan has asthma too.  i just now the ruthless nature of this particular mom.  she happens to be the scout mom sent directly here to test even the nicest parent's patience.  anyway, back to the drama...  a couple of boys decided that it wasn't fair that one boy got to bend the rules and ended up placing.  they cornered him, out of eyesight of the parents, and decided they were going to show him a little fairness with their fists.  aidan and another boy intervened.  let the record show that aidan, mr. i-gotta-win, lost to the strawless boy.  he knew it was unfair. but his little peace loving self also knew that you don't solve issues like this by beating the kid down. he saw the situation clearly enough to know that it was the mom, not the boy, who bent the rules.  to top it off, he discretely told me the sitch, which is exactly what i would have wanted him to do. 

this kid hung my moon, not the moon, but my moon. 
i think a little bragging is in order.  i couldn't be prouder. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

finding beauty in badger

unlike last time, there was no complaining. 

it was blustery, but our bodies quickly warmed on the way up. our bodies are stronger and our pace was quicker.

some things were the same. my three nearest and dearest still talk the entire time while i am focused on my huffing and puffing.

and it is still just as beautiful. 

let's get something straight

like my storage container drawer. 

i have been pinspired .  when my neurotic side saw this, i knew i had to do something to straighten out my plastics. 

the before:

the during: (the during included tony cutting up the backer boards that we didn't use on some ikea dressers.  waste not, want not, am i right? then some major measuring and gorilla glue finagaling.)

the after:

consider the crazy containers conquered.
thank you, oh great pinterest.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


mister is what my brother calls aidan.  he always has.  i am not sure why, but tio mono is kinda the unofficial nickname giver in the family.  mine is munumana, in case you were wondering. 

i took this picture yesterday and then stared at it for a long, long while.  aidan is not an easy kid.  there is nothing easy about him.  he is 100% all of the time...  100% determined, 100% questioning, 100% quizzing, 100% sincere, 100% delightful, 100% devoted and of course, 100% frustrating.  and i love every bit of who he is.

he had a tough week.  we hurt for him, but are very proud of him.  he articulates his thinking and his feeling well, we need to be better at listening.  to think of it now, though, he always has.  sometimes i miss the three year old aidan and his way of speaking.  there were no k sounds or s sounds or v's or f's.  actually the list was quite long.  to hear him talk about ebaporaton [evaporation] was pretty much the cutest thing.  if you were patient you would be walked through the whole dang water cycle.  and when he would 'wee a bout a dout amials to nania' [read a book about animals to nadia] your heart would melt on the spot.  i miss that time.  maybe i listened harder because you had to if you wanted to make sense of his speech.  all of those speech quarks are gone, so the messages are clear, even grown up sometimes.  on friday he called a friend to ask if he wanted to spend the night.  i listened carefully to make sure he was getting all of the necessary details and of course, not a detail was missed.  what i noticed more though is his speech pattern.  he says things like, "i look forward to seeing you" and "we have dinner ready and your welcome to join us" ... i need to listen more.  he's growing up right before our ears and we are missing it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

oh my goodness i totally made this!

no, not this.  well, actually yes this.  it was my first attempt at crochet.  i intended for it to be a scarf, but it turned out to be an ascot of sorts.  i was too impatient to get another skein of yarn, so i finished it with a little hole to tuck the end in and a button...
not this either.  but technically, i did make her. i am really proud at how she is turning out too, but am starting to think that the reason i am impatient in my little crafties is because all of my patients is used up with my wee ones and my school children.   look at her crochet.  that concentration, that technique, those eyelashes! she can make a chain five feet long faster than i can do three rows, nine stiches wide.
speaking of nine stitches...this is it.  i made this hurking scarf.  this beautiful, steel blue, hurking scarf.  it is like a giant blue lion's mane.  i made a little looptiy loop detail along the whole edge and stitched it's ends together.  i took it apart 42 times to make sure it was even.  

and every single time someone said 'cute scarf' yesterday i practically tackled them with "i made it!!!!!!!"  super annoying i know.  but cute, am i right? 


i read a blog recently that got me thinking about family and the stuff that is really important, the stuff that is everything.  in all reality i think about this stuff all of the time.  i am an introvert by nature, super analytical and in a constant state of reorganization.  but this blog resonated deep with in me.  what if family isn't everything?  i was kinda banking on the fact that it is.  i get what the writer was saying (she is smart and eloquent after all) about how some families just plain stink or that sometimes families are torn apart and then what?  who are you if that happens?  you don't just cease to be.  or at least that is what i am told.  i pray that i never have to find out.  i recognize that this is really a conversation in perspective.

i am my family.  the family that shaped me as i grew up.  i am my sister who can talk without words and who will try to fix anything. i am my brother who can spin a wild story and make a memory out of a moment.  i am the hardwork of my father and the generosity of my mother. i am the family that shapes me as i continue to grow. i am the forgiveness of my friends who became my family.  i am the passion and the dedication of my husband.  i am the thoughtfulness of aidan, the justice, the literal.  i am the silliness of nadia and her compassion.  i am all of the experiences with all of these people wrapped up into one wackadoodle of a human being. i would not be me without them. 

and they will not be who they are without each other, without us, without the friends they will call family.  someday, when they build their own family, those partners, those children will become their everything.  they shape them in ways that are unimaginable. 

and if you take all my family away, they will still be my everything, because as simple as it is, they are my core.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

please tell me 2012 didn't turn my brain to mush

i have been so very scattered today.  and yesterday.  and the day before when i had planned to welcome in the new year on my little memory keeper here.

back to today...i came down to get started, but then i put eggs on to boil, went upstairs to put a load of laundry in and got totally sidetracked looking at aidan's new gecko habitat that i completely forgot about the eggs.  don't worry, i didn't boil them dry and make them explode.  that was so 2011.  but then later, when i was trying to organize some contacts for a birthday surprise for nadia, i stopped mid way and decided to bake banana bread.  half way through that i remembered to spice up the chicken for enchiladas tonight.  i managed to get the chicken on the stove and remembered that i needed to fb a question to someone which brought me back to the contacts for nadia's birthday.  i promptly got all kinds of sidetracked plugging food into my calorie counter app ('tis the season, am i right?) which reminded me that tony asked me to wash pants so he had something to wear to the gym later.  while up folding laundry i realized that i hadn't set a timer for the bread and then that i had wandered off leaving the broom in the pantry, thinking that i would sweep my bathroom later. i managed somewhere in there to get some emails done, work on fractions with nadia, discuss the process of making 3D with aidan, hang with sara and the dynamic duo, let the dog out, let the cats in and dishes, all that jazz. 

and then remembered that i was indeed writing a post about the new year. 

that is when i stood motionless for way too long thinking about all of the arbitrary paths i have taken today.  and how that is how all 2011 has been.  run here, prepare this, run there, watch that, meet now, schedule for later. and it goes on and on and on. and it goes on and on and onnnnn! i throw my hands up in the air sometimes, singing aaaaa-ooooooo, gotta let go. 
there it goes again.  my crazy mushed up brain.  i don't know how i get anything done.

seriously, though.  2011 was a year of everything.  highs and lows and new adventures.  it was a year of planting seeds for our future selves.  like kayaking.  who knew i would love it?  and running.  who knew i could do it? and camping?  and riding our bikes for miles! and crochet!  and deeping our relationships within our little family all the while! 

i am pretty sure 2012 is going to be a year that lets us weed out all of the meaningless stuff and focus on the things that memories are made of.  instead of focusing on the can'ts and the won'ts that resolutions typically elicit, for 2012 we made a bucket list of sorts.  

a list that stemmed from all of the seeds of 2011.  the adventures range from family game nights to surfing and skiing and input was gathered from each bachart.  this list will help us make memories and we will certainly make memories getting sidetracked along the way. it is chicken scratched and doodled and tattered and perfect.