Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wearing the proof of a game

During soccer season I am typically covered in bruises, usually I don't even remember getting them. I've come to the conclusion that I just bruise easily.  This one, however, is rather spectacular.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Too, Too Sweet

Facebook post the other day:

ARRRGGGHH!!! Ungrateful children, I'm trying to make muffins so you don't starve to death. Leave me alone!

But, they gobbled them down gratefully when they came out of the oven so I forgave them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Real Parent

So this whole bike riding thing really stopped me short.  There she was, riding down the sidewalk with Steve riding behind her, both of them with helmets, her long legs pumping, steering with intensity... And suddenly I really felt like a PARENT.

Yes, I've managed to keep her alive for 4 1/2 years but this felt different. We teach our kids lots of things but often the steps are so small that we're just holding on with the hope that we'll see the results in 20 years. But this, this flying down the cement a sparkly, pink and purple blur, it was such a tangible thing - this skill that we're teaching her. I could see her go from uncertainty to confidence in a matter of minutes and, instead of hopping off every few seconds to alleviate her nervousness she was challenging daddy to races.

It's the result. And it's breathtaking to watch.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Future Pride

I've watched American Idol off and on over the years. I always thought "Wow, can you imagine living out your dream like that? That is so amazing."

This year, though, I realized that I've crossed a line when, rather than identifying with the contestants, I was thinking "Can you imagine being a parent and watching your child explode into a dream? That must be so amazing."

Then I blink away vicariously proud parent tears and imagine the future.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Birds Series: The Runaway

So, I was over at my friend's house the other day. (Yes, this JUST happened - in case you were thinking that the bird problem was simply one from many years past!) The four small children were playing outside in the backyard and we were happily sipping coffee at the kitchen table. Life was grand I tell you!

There was a small happy commotion outside and I got up to take a closer look, basically checking to see if there was any blood to be honest, because that's the bar for interrupting a long overdue conversation with a friend. The two smallest ones were bent over, eyes to the ground, chasing something. Something small, yellow, and peeping...

"Oh, a chicken!" I exclaimed trying to sound completely sane over the very small chick that had wandered into the yard. My friend has heard and read my bird stories but I try to keep my insanity under control when you meet me in person...

Curious, she came over to inspect the happenings outside the door - which was slightly open and, if I might point out, a beacon of safety for the chicken being chased by small beings who show their love by crushing objects...

The two year old bent down to try and pick up the chick and, sensing danger, the chick fluttered its wings. Well, that was it. I lost all rationality and slipped into hysteria. Still standing behind the sliding glass door, I shrieked "Protect my children!" and then skedaddled to the corner of the kitchen, waving my hands in a panic as my friend, in the midst of her laughter, went out and rescued...THE CHICK who was being pursued by all four children intent on loving it to a quick death.

The cat and I watched from the protection of the house.

Go here for more in the birds series or see the link on the side bar.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Igloo Living

Every summer Steve and I have the same debate. "We should get an air-conditioner because I will die from the heat" VS. "There are only a few days that are truly miserable around here and we can survive them."

The frugal, survivor side (me) prevailed for 14 years but, on Sunday I lost resoundingly. (Mother's Day. He's trying to convince me that this is really a gift for me... I guess it is in the sense that I made him PROMISE he wouldn't be grumpy for the entire summer!)  We are now an air conditioned household.

I anticipate blissfully happy occupants for the next 3 months, or at least for the 4 days of the summer when the temperature actually does justify any and all attempts at relief from the heat!

*I'm not that torn up about it. After all, I'm almost as much of a wimp when it comes to the heat as Steve. If it wasn't for important things like jobs and family we would seriously try and find a way to summer in Alaska. Now that would be paradise!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hungry Dinosaur

The Princess has suddenly burst out with some creative drawing rather than the scribbles that were more about just testing out the colors up to this point.  Thank goodness I captured these masterpieces right before Sweetpea snuck up and did her own scribble attack...

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Fault In Our Stars

I feel like I need to sit down and read this book again before I can write anything coming close to doing justice to the story and the writing and the impact of this book.

Remember how when you read The Diary of Anne Frank it was haunting because, while the horror of the Nazi regime was right outside the door, you were also mesmerized by her LIFE in that little attic; the fears, the happiness, the teenagery love and hope for the future?

Well, take away the Nazis and put in cancer instead and you have the heartbreaking bittersweet hope despite the actual reality that twists up inside you and won't let you go.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Determined Princess

Well, the trike didn't last long. We knew it wouldn't since her knees were practically to her chin when she tried to pedal! So, off to Target we went - supplier of all children supplies...

They had two choices, (Target, I'm so disappointed in you. You didn't even have a Toy Story Bike that could have possibly been in the running.) Barbie or Disney Princesses. So, actually it wasn't even a choice. We headed home with a PINK and PURPLE PRINCESS BIKE. This bike is beyond anything and everything. It's sparkly, it has streamers, it's has multiple pictures of the princesses. And, and, and, It has a COACH on the handlebars that holds a special doll and any treasures you might find on your journey.

It is the most obnoxious bike I have ever seen.  And, of course, she LOVES it!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Okay. With these pretties I may grudgingly admit that there may be a few things that are good about warm weather.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Compound Interest

So I've been itching to do a little sewing but...hauling it all upstairs, the mess, the interruptions by wee ones, the weird reasoning that if I take time to do this creative thing the other creative things will suffer... 


It's always worth it. Especially when the project is actually started and finished in two days, even with the interruptions. Plus, when will I learn? Doing one creative thing doesn't suck the finite resources away from another endeavor. Creativity fuels and builds on itself. Like my 401k (or so they SWORE to me when I first started working...), it multiplies exponentially the more I use it, especially when it's diversified!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

4 Hour Distraction

So, I read a book yesterday.
Yep, that's right.
A Book.
In a day.
Actually, I started it at 5:45 when I put the girls in the bath (they had an extra long bath because I lost track of time...) and finished it at 10pm. I read while making dinner...Obviously I couldn't put it down!

Oh, you want to know what the book is?

This is the second in the series. Start with the first one. It's in the Young Adult section - I've been mining that section for gems lately and, let me tell you, there are a bunch! (more reviews later?  Maybe...)

The short (short!) summary is that this is a dystopian United States where Love, yes, the emotion/action of love, has been declared a disease "deliria". A surgical procedure has been developed to eliminate that emotion with the idea that the elimination of this disease will solve all of the problems in human society. There is, of course, a resistance to this idea...

The only problem?  I have to wait a year for the third one to come out! Boo! (this, at least, is a good problem to have!)

(I got the images off of but the links are acting if you can't click directly you know where to go!)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ladybugs Hike Too

We've been housebound for too long and, with the rain warming up (that's my criteria around here. If we waited for dry days we'd be out of luck!), we're looking for outdoor activities. So, back to the ladybug walks again. (I thought I'd blogged about these before, but perhaps not. Or maybe my title was so vague that I didn't recognize it when I went back through the archives - definitely a possibility.)

Ladybug Hikes are put on by the Parks Department for preschoolers. Every Friday, two staffers lead a group through a park looking at whatever happens to be in season, rain or shine. They move from park to park around the city and, since it's Portland, some of these parks aren't so much cultivated grass and playground equipment  as small forests within the city limits.

Each kid gets a ladybug backpack with all sorts of "equipment" inside. Animal mask, magnifying glass, digging spoon, magnifier box, brush (for "painting" with water or brushing away dirt...), and a color matching necklace. On one walk the kids spent most of the hour digging up mole hills, on another we crossed over onto an island in the middle of the Willamette River and looked for water bugs, this time we examining raindrops and collecting slugs...

All of this to say that the fresh air was wonderful and my goal to focus on science and math with The Princess (and Sweetpea, since she's rabidly observing on the side) is easily subsidized by this exciting adventure!