Wednesday, April 29, 2009


That's how out of it I am.  

Thanks, Ruth

Thursday Early Morning Freak Out (In a Thursday Afternoon Perspective)

I have 20 minutes of beautiful quietude (if you don't count the neighbor's lawn service's power tools).  I've been rushing about non-stop and have an unwritten to-do list (item number one, write the list down).

I woke up at 5 am this morning and sat right up in bed.  I figure these are the moments that prove your brain is actively working during your sleep (even if that's not the case when you are awake). Questions were rolling through my brain with a panic. 

  • Did I have enough snack for the Walk to School Program today?  
  • Did I have too much snack?
  • Would the parents approve of Kellogg's Mini Wheats and cut oranges as a snack?
  • Would parents be upset that the whole snack wasn't organic?
  • With the Swine Flu going around, should all of these little fingers be reaching into a bowl of any kind of snack without hand sanitizer?
  • What time do I have to get up in order to cut up all of the oranges, arrange the snack on serving dishes and get to school by 7:45? 
Looking back, it's hard to realize why this made me feel so stressed.  It's all behind me now, except for writing that list.  Someday I will smile and think, "Those were the days."  (Then again, maybe not).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Queen of Awe-Summm Award

Jamie from Kids...Me & Raw III, has just bestowed upon me the honor of the Queen of Alll Things Awe-Summm Award.  She is truly the Queen of Awe-summm, she has honest, witty, well written posts that are always an interesting read.  She also is always changing her blog design in some fabulous way.  Make sure to stop by and check her blog out and give THE Queen a curtsy!

Here are the award rules:
List 7 things that make you Awe-Summm and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers you love.
Make sure to tag the recipients and let them know they have won!
Also link back tot he Queen that tagged you.

My 7
  1. I thrive on chaos.  It drives some people that I'm married to crazy (and some of my friends, too), but I can orchestrate something our of most anything.
  2. I like to be spur of the moment, but I can't plan to be spur of the moment.  It just happens and comes together magically.
  3. I like to laugh and go places where people laugh:  bad teenage humor movies, open mic at the comedy club, little girls ballet recitals...etc. 
  4. I can see the half-full glass in the worst of situations--I'm good at taking lemons and making lemonade.
  5. I'm also good at taking those very same lemons and making a mean margarita, for that matter. 
  6. I will pretty much help anyone that needs it (you have to be nice, though).
  7. I love spending time with my kids and feel that summer is not meant for summer camp so that I can send them away--I like to be with them!
My 7 Queens:
Now grab this Awe-summm, sparkly award and get reigning!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What's That Thing On Your Header?

I've been asked what that thing on my header is.  If you look closely, it's a footprint in the cement on our sidewalk.  I don't know who made this print or when, but we pass it every day.

In the spring, it is often filled with water after a rain.  In the summer, sometimes we find little blossoms that have dropped off the trees into the print.  In the fall, little crispy leaves fill it's shape. There is hardly a time we fail to notice this little impression.

We've been in our home 5 years now.  All three of my kids have measured their feet in this print.  Last summer, Birk finally put her foot in and like Cinderella, "It fits!"  She was so excited, but I felt a little sad.

All three kids have grown out of the print.  It kind of marks the passage of an era.  It seems like every day used to be full of firsts, but more often than not, I'm having a lot of days marked by lasts.  I know it's one of the  bittersweet qualities of life, but I sure am going to miss the pitter patter of little feet.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes...

"I like Thursday, mommy, it's like the sister of Friday."

Quote from Birk, Thursday morning on our way to school.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Birk's Buying Us A Ski House In Tahoe

Birk had such a fantastic time skiing in Tahoe with her daddy, that she wants to quit regular school, and go to ski school full time.  She realizes that this requires a house in Tahoe.

She first asked daddy to buy her a ski house.  He said,  "Get good grades in school, get a really good job and you can buy a ski house."

Later, our savvy seven year old called us to the computer, very excited. Unbeknownst to us, she had googled Squaw Ski House.  She chose a very excellent and beautiful ski chalet for the nifty price of $1,200,000.00.

Birk was quiet for a long time after dinner.  She asked me how to scan a picture that she had drawn.  A few minutes later, she handed me a stack of papers advertising dogwalking...for $18.00.  She put on her shoes and was ready to go post her flyers around the neighborhood.

Then she asked me, almost jumping up and down with merriment, how many dogs she would have to walk at $18.00 to afford her dream home.

You've got to love kids.

John informed her that it would take approximately 66, 667 dogs. 

You've really got to love kids.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

10 Year Old Guest Post: Ode To Recycling

Ode to Recycling
by Ruth

Recycling, you are more than the Sun, the Moon, and the stars.
Without you, pollution would take over the Earth,
cloaking it in black smog,
but we have hope.
because of you,
we have hope.

*This guest post was written by Ruth for Earth Day.  Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chocolate Bunny Melt Down

This is it!  I'm staring at 3 huge chocolate bunnies leftover from Easter.  I'm trying to resist. Resist. Resist.  Resist.  They are calling to me in that chocolate bunny way.  It's mid morning, and my guard is down.

I have got to stop.  I vowed after Halloween, that as soon as the Halloween candy was gone, I was going to be on the candy wagon.  

Then, the Halloween candy wagon plowed right into the Christmas candy wagon, creating havoc as it rolled into Valentine's Day.  

Now, Easter is staring me right in the eye with 6 little delicious, chocolate eyes of its own.

Aren't the children supposed to wolf these bunnies down?  If one little playground-tainted hand unwrapped one and a sniffly mouth bit off a set of ears, I'd be able to throw it away.  

I'm not desperate enough to nibble on germ infested, decapitated bunnies.  To resist or cave?   I think you know where this is going.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Piercings: The Modern Tween vs. Old-Fashioned Dad

Our family debate of late: piercings.  Ruth, 10 going on 11, is ready to get her ears pierced. The dinner table discussions have sparked Birk's interest, as well.

Daddy, who never wants his little girls to grow up, holds fast to his rule: you must be 40 years old to get your ear's pierced (Come on, even I know that is just plain crazy).  

The girls are smart.  They argued the tattoo angle:  Daddy, you have a tattoo, why can't we just get our ears pierced?

They argued the DIY angle. Birk said:  Daddy, I heard you can do it yourself at home with an ice cube, a safety pin and beer.  The beer you pour on so there's no infestation.

They argued their friends already have pierced ears angle.  Daddy said:  If your friends jump off a bridge, would you do it, too?

My girls finally settled and went to Claire's to buy clip-on earrings.  They had a new angle: freak daddy out.  Brother John decided to join in on the fun. 

The three children arrived home, making a grand and noisy entrance.  There they were, full of smiles, pretending to be pierced with multiple sets of clip ons.

Daddy couldn't take them all out of the will, could he? 

(photo from

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Nice, Cool Frosty One At Pippi's

My youngest, Birk, kept asking me to go out to dinner at Pippi's. Dumbfounded, I asked around about a new restaurant named, "Pippi's." 

No one seemed to have heard of this fabulous, new restaurant, but they all wanted me to let them know where it was when I found it.

Months later, driving down the highway on vacation in Michigan, Birk shrieked, "Mom, there it is.  There's Pippi's."  

I looked out the car window and there was Pippi, braids and all above the word "Wendy's."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Good News, Bad News

Here's the bad news:  I was in my garage this weekend, finally trying to put order in my abyss of chaos.  The bins were willy nilly, and I needed to get the Christmas gear with the Christmas gear, the Halloween stuff with the Halloween stuff....well, you get the idea.

I decided that all of the luggage needed to be in one spot.  Duffel bags that could be stuffed inside another duffel were stuffed.  Suitcases that could be stored within one another were zipped and ordered like nesting dolls.  I hefted our biggest family suitcase and could barely lift it.

What?  I put in on the ground and unzipped it.  My jaw dropped to the concrete.  There, still neatly organized in my suitcase were clothes, bathing suits, belts, shoes, sunscreen, hat, etc.--I NEVER UNPACKED FROM MY FEBRUARY TRIP TO MEXICO!   What?  What?

So, the bad news is that my mental I.Q. is rapidly declining.  

What's the good news, you ask?  There in the middle of all of that unpacked vacation stuff was FUJI!!!!!!  

Yes, tattered, lonely Fuji was among the cargo.  My daughter's blanket is now back in her arms as she sleeps tonight.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Parlay Vou Fronsay? Not Yet, Anyway

So much in my life happens just because of where I'm standing at a particular moment.  This particular moment was on a Friday night and, yes, I did have a glass of wine in my hand.  I guess that could also be a factor.

It was a dinner party of very sophisticated and international friends.  I was the least sophisticated and the least international.  The others were laughing and discussing politics at a lively clip.  Then, talk turned to the fabulous overseas travel they were planning over the summer.

I sighed.  There were no overseas plans on my horizon.  Then they all broke into the language of love.  Yes, the majority of the group, I'd say 9 out of 12, all speak french.  They were parlaying and vooing all over the place.  Who knows what they were discussing, but it sounded romantic and adventurous.

My friend, the other anglophone across the table, looked me in the eye and asked me if I'd like to take French lessons with her.  I said yes, in English.  The night went on.  We had an exotic dessert, kissed everyone 3 times on the cheek, and headed home.

The next morning, I was answering overdue e-mail, when I saw a message in my box titled, "French Lessons."  Uh oh.  

Monday, April 6, 2009

Baby Blankets: Loveies, Snugglies & Heartbreak

Birk's blanket, which for some reason she calls Fuji, is missing.  There is not much left of this lovey, it is tattered, threadbare and torn--held together with clumsily stitched embroidery thread of every color.

Fuji was gifted to us with our first baby, John.  My husband's Godmother gave us this silky soft, 100 percent cotton, dry clean only (I kid you not) white baby blanket imported from Scotland.  It covered John when he was a teeny babe in the bassinet and then went on to do the same for Ruth.

We snuggled baby Birk in it, too.  Then something magical happened:   for some strange reason that only young babies know, she chose that blankie as her special something.  It had to go everywhere she went and has had it's fair share of adventures already.

It's best adventure was being left on a plane from Detroit to San Francisco.  Our camera, also left on the plane, disappeared, but some kind soul recognized a good lovey when s/he saw it and put it aside.  George beamed the hour drive back to the airport and returned with Fuji in his arms.

Now that Birk is 7, she doesn't require Fuji to be present for every waking or sleeping moment. That is why, Fuji has wandered for long periods from time to time.  Well, this time, Fuji may have wandered for good.  We've turned the house inside out and upside down and searched everywhere we can think that's possible.  Fuji has disappeared.

Both mother and daughter are consumed by unexplained crying fits that come and go.  It's such a huge icon of her babyhood for both of us.  There's a sense of childhood passing and I'm afraid it's really the beginning of her life and my life as big girls together.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Terri's Sweet Friend Award

My awesome blogging friend, Terri at  The Four Scarbarys,  just gave me the honor of awarding me her Sweet Friend Award.   

This is an award that she created herself to thank her friends in her blogging community that have taken the time to create friendships and offer guidance.  You can read her sweet blog and check out more about this award by clicking here.

It's not easy to make new friends in the blogging world. Everyone is so busy and trying to juggle so many balls--but, Terri, from the beginning was someone that was easy to get to know.  I've enjoyed meeting her so much!  Thanks, Terri!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Seat of Death

There are weird terms and phrases I use with my children.  We have our inside jokes that even Daddy can't quite figure out.  One of these is the phrase: seat of death.

I knew this phrase had joined our hall of fame when I asked Ruth to sit in the middle seat of the mini van and she howled, "Why do I always have to sit in the seat of death?"  

When Birk brought home the kindergarten class teddy bear, named Humphrey,  we had to take him everywhere we went.  Photographs were required to document his weekend.  On the way home from school, Birk said, "Mom, could you take a picture of Humphrey in the seat of 

John was running to the car and yelled, "Last one in gets the seat of death!"

The seat of death was named because we have an old Jeep Cherokee and the middle seat has no shoulder belt.  I asked at the CHPD's car seat inspection clinic, whether it was safer to have my son in the front seat or the middle back seat with just a lap belt.  The officer advised me to put him in the front seat.

From there on, we called it the 'seat of death.'

Unfortunately, with a family of 5, sometimes somebody must sit in the seat of death.  The term has even carried over to the middle of the third row seat in our mini van.  Even if you're a guest, you may have to sit in the seat of death. Sorry, Humphrey, that's how we roll.