Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A little polish

I was always that annoying person who would say things like "if you are not enjoying yourself, then you probably shouldn't be doing whatever it is you are doing" and "just smile and you will feel better".  I used to just do all kinds of things because they made me happy - lots of art, outdoorsy stuff, reading, learning new things... I was always seeing how people who took themselves too seriously get into a mess of trouble and stress.  I do have a tendency to be over analytical and serious, and clearly being a parent has pushed me over the edge.  I've gotten so focused on parenting that I've all but given up on my own interests, and lots of things are just a chore for me or have just gone completely by the wayside.  I haven't been hiking in forever, can't remember the last time I went to hear live music, I have no clue what is going on in the ice hockey world, and haven't picked up more than a magic marker for art in some time.  I do still garden, and while I used to love home improvement projects, I got a little burned out on those. 

I realized the other day how dire the situation actually is.  Peanut came up to sit on my lap while I was reading this blog post which had me hysterically laughing.  She watched my face carefully, and started to smile too.  Then she kept asking me to go back to the picture of the big chicken and laugh.  Later that day, and then again the next day, she brought up that "funny metal chicken" and wanted me to laugh again.  I realized then, that she was trying to get me to laugh that hard again because it is such a rare occurrence lately.  Really really sad. 

Yesterday, I felt like I just wanted to rebel.  I'm 40, but I had this huge urge to go out and get a new piercing of some sort, dye my hair magenta, and just do all the things that this "good girl" never did.  So it's clearly time to put the fun back into all of it and stop being so serious.  Last night I actually went out for drinks with some girlfriends, which is priceless.  Just being able to sit and relax and talk about anything without being concerned about little ears is a magical thing.  This morning the kids and I painted our nails - they got the nontoxic calmer colors and I broke out my old greens and blues.  It was amazing how much a little blue polish and some New Order (yep - it was a cassette tape!) playing in the car can do to make me smile.  After a morning of splashing with the kiddos at our friends pool, and now with two kids napping soundly, things are looking up. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

This Moment - A Friday Ritual

I'm following along with SouleMama - in her words:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Neat and tidy

The weeds had been taking over the yard for a while, and we were trying to keep it under control, but it was a seriously losing battle.  We finally decided to hire landscapers to cut and mulch new and old garden beds to make our yard more cohesive and yes, give us far less grass for Honey to mow. 

The kids got to watch the big machines (Pumpkin really loves these big trucks, big dirt, big mulch, and the big guys) all day.  I loved that Pumpkin wore butterfly wings as her shouted about the big truck and Peanut made mulch with paper scraps that she cut up and strew all over the house. 

So now I am chomping at the bit to expand my perriennial borders and add some more fruit trees :)  Had it not been so freaking hot today, I suspect I would have come home fromt he garden center with a truckful of new plants!  I'm so excited to fill all this new space and so pleased with how neat and professional it looks!  I kind of can't believe it is my yard!

Be free Tripod!

We spent a good part of Monday afternoon looking for turtles.  We found a goose, and a catrillion lily pads, but nary a turtle.  Luckily, the kids babysitter had a box turtle crawling around here yard, and she brought him to visit on Friday!  He has three legs, and thus was called Tripod.  Friday while I was at work, the kids had him swimming in the pool and crawling on the playground.  When I arrived home, there was a turtle in the kitchen, and the kids were really, really excited about him. 

So he hung out here for a few days, getting pampered with apple slices, blueberries, lettuce, parsley, egg shells, and a bit of chicken.  I knew it was time for him to go though when he hoisted himself up into the broccoli bed in the garden to hide - that's serious - it's like 8 inches high.  We had had several conversations about where turtles belong and why it is sad for them to be captive when they were previously wild.  Everyone agreed to release him in the pond nearby, although Pumpkin said he was "sad about Tripod turtle" with his little pout.  Off to the pond this morning, and the kids waved as he swam out to meet new friends.  We will go visiting I'm sure...

Friday, June 10, 2011

This Moment - A Friday Ritual - turtle hunt

I'm following along with SouleMama - in her words:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I am an emotional person.  I cry at the drop of a hat - commercials, songs, books, blogs, any kind of ceremony or ritual, I am overwhelmed by emotions (happy and sad) that make me cry.  I have been wondering about this lately.  Why?  Why do I cry?  Why in a room full of people who seemingly feel, am I the only one leaking?  At a child blessing ceremony the other day, I was overcome with tears almost the moment it began.  I feel as if I let myself cry, it will be one of those loud sobbing cries rather than a dignified friendly cry, so I try to hold it all inside.  And therein lies the answer.  Holding it in, makes me more primed to cry as it were.

As I've been thinking on this, I've realized that a huge part of my emotionality has to do with what people are saying.  I'm so blown away by the things people say out loud.  Things about their beliefs and how they want to raise their children, and how they see the spiritual and religious worlds meld with their parenting.  I'd feel so vulnerable if I were saying things like these to a room full of people, and I am in awe of their comfort and freedom in doing so.  I've always felt like a very sensitive person, but can put up a pretty good front so that I look unflappable.  I think these occasions where I hear others saying what I do not, give me an opportunity to come as close to stating my feelings out loud as I ever have. 

It's not that I don't like or honor my feelings.  I love stumbling upon a song whose lyrics speak to me, and let me know that I am really not the only person who has ever felt that way before.  I love reading a passage in a book that beautifully states how something looks or feels.  I love music for musics sake, and can find myself crying with just a hauntingly beautiful melody.  There are prayers and religious songs that touch me as well, even if I don't understand the words, the tune literally strikes a chord.  I've just not ever been comfortable wearing my heart on my sleeve so to speak.  For a long time, I was the girl who does what is expected of her, happily or begrudgingly, but not often with an open discussion of why I did or didn't want to do it.  It's been a learning curve to acknowledge and identify that I want or need or feel something other then what I "should", and clearly still a larger leap to be public about it.  Baby steps.  Right now, I'm just trying to unclench my jaw and let whatever comes out come. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011


last year berry picking
Last year, I went with Peanut and some of her friends to pick strawberries while Pumpkin stayed home with Daddy.  She was surprisingly good at picking the berries and putting them in her basket vs. her mouth, and we got a huge take - enough for plenty of fresh eating, smoothies, and yogurt toppers for quite some time.  The farm was as natural and plain as we could get - a big field of berries and weeds with a little farm stand - that's it.  We picked, we picnicked, we went home.  She still talks (fondly!) about the ants crawling all over her feet when she stepped on the ant hills to pick the biggest berries.  It was totally my speed - just one activity, nice and chill. 

Come on!
This year, we had the opportunity to go with friends to a big, busy farm to pick our berries.  I'm not one to pack a ton of activities into a day - I like to take it easy and focus - but this place had a ton of other stuff to do.  There were animals to see, a big jump pillow, a spot to get lunch, etc., etc., etc..   I figured we'd go and pick some berries and see how we were all feeling about doing anything else.  Well, it was ridiculously hot, there were a ton of school field trips, and we had to wait for almost 45 minutes to get a hayride out to the field.  That's after waiting in line to pay the entrance fee and to buy a few buckets.  Crabbiness set in, Pumpkin started getting clingy, and I thought about turning around and heading home.  Once we got on the wagon though, we had renewed interest in the day.

empty bucket, messy face
In the fields, Peanut continued on her previous streak of picking and saving from last year.  She could have filled several huge buckets in no time flat, but me trying to maneuver two kids and many pounds of berries on a hayride was not my goal.   Pumpkin on the other hand would put a few in his bucket and then stand there eating them.  I encouraged Peanut to fill Pumpkins basket too, and soon we were all filled up.  With the heat and the rapid berry picking and eating, we were done with this pretty quickly.  We caught the wagon back, paid for our berries and decided to stick around for lunch.  During lunch the kids climbed up a a little wall to see some emus (maybe?) and ran around a bit in the fields.  My two were winding down, and we bailed before they could get any ideas about the jump pillow or whatever else there is to do out there.  I'm glad too, because the act of getting out of there complete with a diaper change/potty stop along with the several buses of school children almost made me lose my cool.  A sweet mom at the bathroom door reminded me to breathe - thank you mama.  Once in the car and back on the road, our pace went back to normal and we enjoyed the scenic route home. 

It's interesting to me that I have such an aversion to things like this.  The rushed pace rubs off on me - just hearing people hurrying their children along causes me to hurry even though I have no where I need to be.  Dealing with the hayrides causes me to be unfocused, keeping one eye and ear out for the wagon instead of being present in the moment.  I get easily annoyed and overwhelmed by it all, and keeping tabs on both kids in a little craziness never helps.  I think this gives me a little more insight into how Peanut sometimes sees the world.  I can understand how she just has to turn it all off for a while.  I am glad we went though, as I've felt funny not wanting to go somewhere that so many people seem to really love.  I think I will stick with my fields of berries and weeds though.


It's days like these that I wish I had my camera crew!  We spent the whole afternoon outdoors, me and Honey working in the yard and the kids playing with their babies.  Watching them create and imagine is always fascinating, but today they were particularly sweet, holding hands and snuggling their babies throughout whatever they were playing.  It looked and sounded like they were driving to a play date at the park and maybe to the doctor.  I'm sure if I had gone in to get the camera it would have ended, and really how much of that can you truly capture?  So here's a sweet picture from the farmers market last week instead - that same sweetness I've been seeing all day!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

testing, testing

It's nearly impossible to not think about why I would be asking each question, what I'd be thinking with each answer, and analyzing the reasoning for each method or tool they are using.  It's really tough to be sitting in another room while total strangers administer evaluations and tests, and not wonder how much she is or isn't doing, and whether they are making assumptions (of course they are) about her actual ability based on this one moment in time.  It's hard when you have to lay out your whole family history on the table and the evaluator says "wow".  As much as I know, about kids, about this process, about myself and my child, there is nothing I can do to make this easier.  This whole thing is making me analyze and over analyze everything, which of course is not at all helpful to anyone.  My child is my child, and remains the same child regardless of the words and numbers that are put on those pages.  I've been on the other side of that table and I know they have her best interests at heart, but boy does this put all the evaluations I have done with other families in perspective.  Humility.  The word of the day.