Sunday, December 16, 2007

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

It has been snowing and snowing the past few days--and the way snow sticks around here, we should be in good shape for a white Christmas (and white Easter for that matter). Brent's a very diligent and devoted husband in many ways, but I REALLY appreciate him when it snows. He was outside warming up the snowblower at 7:30 am as I lay in my nice warm bed. Our driveway is long so it is a big job clearing all the snow, even with a hefty duty snow blower. But Brent always takes charge and gets the job done. I know I have his dad to thank for teaching him so well, I'm hoping our boys are learning from his example as well.

We were loving the storm (and our 4WD) on Saturday night as we headed out to do some Christmas shopping. I was certain we'd send ourselves to the asylum taking all three kids to Target on a Saturday night the week before Christmas--a crowd nightmare! But thanks to Jack Frost the holiday shoppers were scared away and we were pleasantly surprised to find the store quiet and lines short.

On Saturday afternoon we hit the slope...the sledding slope that is. There was a layer of very icy snow (from the ice storms last week) underneath the newest layer of snow. So, the slopes were exceptionally slippery and the sleds zipped down the hill fast and furious. Morgan and Isaac (and Brent and I too) were loving practicing our balance on the fake snowboard sled thingy. Ethan could have gone up and down the hill all day long if we'd let him. I couldn't believe he wasn't complaining of being cold or hungry after an hour on the hill.

When Ethan saw Morgan's friend, Ima, with her snow helmet, he was convinced that he needed one too. So, he dug out his bike helmet and, well, there was really no point in trying to convince him it wasn't the right type of helmet (and that it looked dorky)--he's two and he's difficult to reason with. Truthfully, the bottom layer of ice was so hard that it was comforting to know he had a little extra protection on his noggin.

The Davey's Christmas Party

What would the holidays be without a few holiday parties--and an excuse to wear our cute holiday clothes somewhere other than church. Our friend, Heather Davey, threw a great party tonight complete with chili, hot chocolate, and visit from Santa and his big red sack!

Santa brought Morgan the Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix DVD and some super cute mary jane slipper socks (I'm hoping Santa brings me my own MJ slipper socks for Christmas...hint, hint). Morgan couldn't have been more excited about the DVD. She's such a Harry Potter fan. She was in preschool when we read the first book out loud to her. Looking back I can't believe she had the attention span for it at that age.

Keeping with our Halloween Star Wars theme, Santa brought Isaac a set of Star Wars action figures. On the way home he was playing with them in the back seat. He smiled and said, "Mom, I'm having so much fun with these action figures back here!" Did Santa do good or what?

Ethan got an airplane thing with a trigger launch to shoot it off into the sky. I guess that may not have been the best choice for a gift to hand to a 2-year old in a crowded house of people, but nevertheless he was thrilled and totally excited (and no one was maimed or even brought to tears as far as I know :-). Ethan was psyched to see and talk to Santa. There were many tears shed by other 2-year-olds terrified of the big guy, but Ethan warmed right up to him and sat on his lap without any prompting.

On the way home at 8:00 the kids were begging to watch the new Harry Potter DVD. Brent said, "sure", insisting that it was so close to Christmas break that the kids would be fine to go to bed late. I had to step-in as the "heavy" to insist that the kids needed their sleep. We finally compromised that they could watch until 8:55, as long as they were in their beds at 9:00.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Need Gifts?

I just posted a few photos of my friend Janette's artwork at I love her work! She uses vintage jewelry from the 1920s to 1960s to create beautiful artistic collages. These pieces normally retail for $70 in stores, but if you buy direct from Janette they are just $45 each (plus shipping). Check them out!

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Morning After

I am sound asleep, still overcome by the turkey induced coma. Somewhere in the distance I hear an urgent buzzer. I am vaguely aware that it is Brent's alarm clock. It's 3:30 am and he's off to stand in line at Circuit City. The appeal of a 46" LCD television more urgent than the comfort of a warm bed and dreamy sleep. Hours later I awake, still no sign of Brent. At 8:30 he arrives home. After 2-hours waiting outside in the icy cold morning, then 2-1/2 hours in line inside the store, he is triumphant. We have pie for breakfast to celebrate. It is just as the day after Thanksgiving should be.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Morgan's First Gymnastics Meet of the Season

Morgan's gymnastics meet season started yesterday and she did awesome. She's always received high scores on vault, and this meet was no different. She received a 9.4 and took third place in vault (out of about 40 competitors in her age bracket). Way to go Morgan! It was especially great since she was competing in the 9 to 11-year-old bracket, and she won't be 9 until February--so she was one of the youngest in the bracket. It's impossible to get good photos in the gym (at least with our little camera), but I've posted a few anyway. That's her on the podium in the #3 spot for vault (she came in 10th place all-around).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I've Been Tagged

My friend, Kristine, tagged me on her blog. So now I'm supposed to share five little known facts about me (I suppose this is to prove to her that I checked-in on her blog and was paying attention to what she had to say :-). Not sure these are all little known, but here goes:

1. I'm kind of a recluse at times. I'm perfectly happy to be alone. Actually, I wish I had a lot more alone time. I don't mean to say that I don't love my family--I of course love being with them. But, I also really like time alone. By myself. To do whatever I want without anyone redirecting my attention. Sometimes I really look forward to driving by myself (since it NEVER happens). In the quiet solace of my car I can call anyone I want (without being interrupted), listen to whatever music I want, and think about whatever I want. The funny thing is, I always surround myself with "people people". Brent loves to be with people, and my best friends have always been "people people"--people who don't like to be alone. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like without all the "people people" who surround me. I wonder if I'd be really boring and never get out of the house. Thank you to all my people people who keep me motivated to do interesting things :-).

2. I'm convinced I have adult onset ADD--I've seen the ad for meds on TV, I'm certain they'd do me some good, but I'm not really a med type of gal, so I just deal. I jump from one project to the next. One interruption and I can't remember where I left off and what I was doing (and since I have a 2-year old the interruptions are many). Sugar and caffeine seem to exacerbate the problem ('d think that would encourage me to refrain wouldn't you :-). Actually, I don't drink much caffeine, because it does really affect me--and Brent drinks enough for both of us! I used to love to do sewing projects and crafty household projects, but now I never even bother starting because I know I'll never finish. This said, I'm feeling a creative streak coming on and am considering delving into a little project. I'll let you know if I actually get anything done!

3. Some moms look forward to the kids going back to school at the end of the summer. I dread it. Yes, the quiet time is nice. And, it's nice to go to the store without the complaining that comes with tearing three kids away from fun and friends. But I really like having the kids around, and I really dislike the papers that come home from school each day--they drive me insane. I'd much rather have a house full of kids all day than a counter full of papers all night!

4. One of my favorite things to do each month is to volunteer at Morgan and Isaac's school as an "Art Mom". Each month a few other moms and I give a presentation on a different artist. I love learning about the artists as much as the kids do. It's a great program and I'm so lucky to be a part of it!

5. I've spent way too many hours blog stalking...visiting the blogs linked to all of your pages. When I'm behind on laundry and dishes, this is usually why. This whole blogging world, while very fun and great for keeping in touch with my family and friends, has taken a toll on my home!

The way this game works is I now tag five people who have to do the same thing on their blog. I'll be checking your blogs to make sure you play along (so you can prove to me that you actually read this thing :-). So, here's who I tag: Angela, Bekah, Sheree, Lissie, and Becky. Your IT!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy Birthday to Isaac - The Big Six Years Old!

I just pulled off the greatest coup of Motherhood. Normally the last week or two would have been a crazy mad dash to pull together a birthday party for Isaac and ten or so other kindergartners. The week would have involved multiple trips to the party store, the craft store, and grocery store (with Ethan in tow). Not to mention hours making-up goody bags, snacks, and cleaning the house to get it ready (only to have it trashed in two hours). But this year was different. This year was bliss. It all started a year ago when I took the kids to an indoor waterpark/hotel about 3-hours away in Wisconsin. It was just after Isaac's birthday. The kids had a great time and were asking when we could go back again with Dad who was out of town for work. I had a great mothering moment and made the casual suggestion that Isaac could invite one friend and have his birthday party there next year. Most 5-year-olds will change their mind about the venue and theme of their birthday party about as many times as they change their mind about their Halloween costume. But not Isaac. He wanted his party at the Kalahari, and he stuck with it all year long. Yippee for me! So instead of spending $300 on a party, we got to take a family vacation! What a great deal. I highly recommend the vacation party. Isaac thought it was the best. He had no clue that it was a complete cop-out from my end!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


At first glance this may appear to be just a mediocre photo of Morgan and Isaac ready to hit the streets with their empty candy buckets. There is, however, a lot more to this photo than meets the eye. Take a closer look, Ethan (Yoda), is in the background. He wanted to take pictures with his friend, Alena, and was mad when I asked him to come take pictures with his siblings. So, in true 2-year-old form he refused to join the photo and ran away. This is why you see him in the background--looking straight at me with his menacing "I dare you to come after me" face. Morgan, you may notice isn't smiling. This is not because I forgot to say, "cheese" before flashing away. No, she refused to smile for any of the photos. She claimed to be too upset to smile. Why you ask? She was mad at me for telling her she'd have to come in early from trick-or-treating because she didn't get her homework done after school (she quietly slipped out the door to play when I wasn't looking, then later claimed she didn't sneak out, she just forgot she had homework to do). So, with the above mentioned factors working against me this picture is the closest thing I got to a photo of all three kids together in their costumes. Ah, the joys of holiday photo ops with children...especially children who are already hopped up on too much candy and too little sleep...and we look forward to this holiday!?! Thank goodness they look so cute in their costumes, it makes it worthwhile (I think).

The neighborhood gang...all ready to head out for CANDY!

Ready for Halloween

My super safe candy hiding spot over the refrigerator is no longer safe. I find this especially comical given that this cabinet has been inaccessible to Isaac and Morgan for years, but along comes Ethan and all the rules change. He can climb up anything. He really has no fear!

Our pumpkins turned out great (if I do say so myself). We've kept them inside so the squirrels don't enjoy them for lunch--they love the carved pumpkins. The kids are excited to get them outside tonight (okay, and Brent and I are pretty excited to get them outside too...we both love Halloween).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Velma and Shaggy Out on the Town

The whole Mystery Inc. gang...Daphne (Heather Sterling), Fred (Dave Sterling), Velma (me) and Shaggy (Brent)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Star Wars Obsession

Two weeks ago Brent stumbled upon Star Wars Episode 3 on TV. Isaac, who'd never seen a Star Wars movie, had already decided to be Darth Vader for Halloween and Ethan had agreed to be Yoda. So naturally we thought the boys would get a kick out of watching the show. Little did we know this would ignite a Star Wars marathon during which our family would watch four of the six movies (thanks to our neighbors next door who let us borrow the original trilogy). Ethan now asks to watch Star Wars as often as he asks to watch Caillou. Brent has been recruited to play the part of Luke Skywalker for Halloween. Morgan, much to Isaac's disappointment, has NOT been convinced to abandon her witch costume for Princess Leia (although I think she would have crossed-over if she hadn't already planned to do matching witches with her friend). As Brent and I were reminiscing about Star Wars in our youth, I made the connection that I was Princess Leia in kindergarten(my favorite costume of all time) . Now, my own son, a kindergartener, is going as Darth Vader. Who would have guessed that Star Wars would retain it's popularity 30 years later?!?

Cute Quotes

Morgan: "Those little trolls really are good luck." I smile. "Really mom, it says 'Good Luck Troll' on the package I bought from the book fair. I had the best day ever at gymnastics. Coach Kelly told me I did the best beam routine she's ever seen me do!"

Isaac: While watching Return of the Jedi "Mom, just tell me, does Luke Skywalker die?". "No" I say. "What about Darth Vader and the Emperor?" "Do you really want me to tell you?" I ask. "Um, no, don't tell me". ...he's going to be Darth Vader for Halloween.

Ethan: "I love you home mom! I love you home mommy! I love you home!" Said many times a day along with a great big hug upon my return from being out of town for the weekend. His other latest is "FAVORITE". Everything is said with an emphatic, "That's my favorite!" For instance, "Ethan, do you want peanut butter for lunch?", "Peanut Butter is my FAVORITE". "Do you want to wear your baseball jammies?", "Baseball jammies are my favorite!" Ahhh, you gotta love 2-year olds!

Friday, September 28, 2007

They're Only Two Once

Yesterday was one of those days when Ethan wouldn't let me forget he was a 2-year old. He was inspecting Isaac's "electricity" play set when he decided to bite into the tiny light bulb. Yes, he bit the light bulb--crushed it between his teeth. As I fished crushed glass out of his mouth I resisted the urge to shout, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING"? --knowing it would only be rhetorical.

Later, as I was making my daily blueberry smoothie (thanks Mom for the recipe) Ethan decided to help. Mind you, it isn't easy to turn on my blender. You have to first push on, then push another button for the speed. I guess I've let Ethan help too often, because as I was putting the bag of blueberries back in the freezer Ethan reached up and pushed just the right buttons. Sadly, the lid was not yet on. So blueberries and flax meal sprayed around the kitchen.

Fortunately, my darling angel redeemed himself of all earlier offenses when he called to me while in the bath, "Mom, poopy is coming". HOORAY! We snatched him out of the bath, placed him on the potty where he did his business (normally he lets me know after it's already floating in the bath water...ah, it's fun to be a mom on those days!). I was so proud of the little guy (and so thrilled I didn't have to pull out the bleach yet again).

In the midst of typing this posting Ethan came up to me clutching a 9v battery in his fist as he exclaimed, "Mom, this is hot, put it in your mouth". Ha! Wonder which of his siblings taught him the tongue on the 9Volt trick. Wow, it will be a challenge keeping this one out of life threatening danger!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Half Empty or Half Full?

Today we went on a bike ride and half way through I realized we had to turn around to get back in time for soccer and gymnastics. Isaac started complaining, "that was the worst bike ride ever, it wasn't even fun". A week ago Morgan and friends wanted to go to the mall, so I told them I'd take them as long as they were okay that we'd only be there an hour. The girls were so cute with their little purses and so excited to be "out shopping". When our hour was up Morgan lost it because she didn't get a chance to buy anything. She complained, "This was the worst day ever!".

My poor kids know all about being underprivileged. Their house is smaller than many on the street, and the houses on their street are 40-years old. Their mom rarely buys clothes that aren't on sale, and sometimes they even wear hand-me-downs (gasp). They are about the only kids they know who have never been to Florida (never mind that they've been to Europe and visited Disneyland in California). And guess what else they have to live with? Their mom "ALWAYS" says no (or so they think). She always says no when they ask for ice cream, cookies, and candy all in one evening (can you imagine, what trauma this must cause them). What's more, when they ask for toys and treats she ALWAYS says, "great, start saving and you can buy it with your own money".

While they are normally pretty grateful kids, nothing sets me off more than when my kids focus on what they don't have. I've been trying to teach them the principle of focusing on the glass that's half-full, but as with most things in motherhood it is a lesson that must be taught over and over again before it fully sinks in (and who am I kidding, I understand the principle fully but still on occasion get in a "poor me" mood).

I just came across a poem I was given this summer. It is perfect for helping us focus on being thankful for all we have.

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to? Be thankful when you don't know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn. Be thankful for the difficult times, during those times you grow. Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement. Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character. Be thankful for your mistakes, they will teach you valuable lessons. Be thankful when you're tired and weary, because it means you've made a difference. It's easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment come to those who are also thankful for the setbacks. Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings. - Author Unknown

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Up Up and Away

A few days ago Ethan came running upstairs with a Superman cape in hand. He was headed for the back door saying, "I go fly up in sky Mommy". I helped him get the cape over his head before he darted outside to the driveway--or should I say, "runway". He ran around for a minute then marched back inside, deflated, saying, "It not working". Apparently he thought the cape would send him sailing through the sky. I think he's watched Sky High a few too many times, it's his favorite movie right now. (This photo was shot a few months ago when Ethan was wearing the same cape).

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

It's Over!

Monday afternoon (Labor Day) we arrived home sweaty and dirty from camping. Morgan had just come out of a much needed shower when a neighbor asked if we'd like to join them at the pool. It seemed like a great way to soak all the grime off the boys bodies, and I didn't have to feel guilty about polluting the pool since it would be closing for the season that evening. Apparently, we weren't alone in our idea to sneak in one last plunge of the summer. The parking lot was completely full and there was hardly room in the pool to move (and it's a really big pool!). But nevertheless we had a great time swimming, diving, and sliding.

When 5:30 came an announcement came over the loud speaker, "It is now 5:30 and Adler Pool is closed for the evening, and the 2007 season. See you next year." I felt the emotion swell up in my chest, and was close to becoming teary eyed (seriously). Nothing signifies summer's arrival more than the opening of the pool on Memorial Day. When we drive by the pool in early May the kids survey the scene with eagerness as the umbrellas are set-up, volleyball nets are hung, and the pools begin filling with water. Of course, it's usually still too cold on Memorial Day for anyone in their right mind to actually go swimming, but at least the pool is open which means school will soon be out and warm sun is just around the corner. Alternatively, the close of the pool indicates the impending doom of winter lurking behind a corner ready to emerge without notice or warning.

My first reaction is to run the other direction (South I guess would work...maybe California or Florida) to escape the doom that awaits me. But, then I'd miss out on the fall which is an amazing season here. Our block transforms as the huge trees that canopy our street change colors and the air becomes crisp. The kids head out to the bus stop in the morning warmed by fleece only to arrive home in the afternoon with the unnecessary jackets discarded and stuffed in their backpacks. The cool morning air gives way to warm afternoon sun--the perfect temperature for just about anything (except for swimming :-).

So, for now I'm going to focus on fall. The amazing season at hand. And I'll choose to ignore the fact that the long long LOOOONG winter will follow too close on fall's heels.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Painting Help

Yesterday as I was painting our front porch posts when Isaac came outside very interested in the project. When he asked if he could help I told him the paint was messy so this really needed to be an adult-only project. He gave an indignant huff and asked, "Then why does Ethan get to help?". I wheeled around to find Ethan clutching a dripping stir stick busily "painting" the brick. ARUGH!!!

Oh yea, the paint is still in his hair and on his forehead--as it was all night last night as we went out to dinner with friends and did some shopping. Ah, the joys of being the third child!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back to School

It's hard to believe the summer has come to an end. After a long week of rain and mosquitoes we had an amazing last weekend. On Saturday we headed about two hours south to the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan where there are vast sandy beaches. We played in the water, in the sand and on the sand hills all day. It felt like a mini-vacation. Isaac was in delighted to find the wind just right for flying his new Spiderman kite. On Sunday the weather was perfect and the mosquitoes weren't so vicious so we barbecued outside and played on the trampoline with the kids. It was hard to pull ourselves inside to get the kids to bed early for school starting.

Isaac has been so excited to start Kindergarten. He was nervous until he attended the Kindergarten orientation with Grandma Nancy last Spring. Something about that night just eased all his fears and he's been nothing but excited ever since. Today was a short 1/2 hour getting comfortable with the daily routine. Tomorrow he'll be on the bus with the big kids in the morning. He can't hold back his smile when he thinks about it.

Morgan started third grade. She got the teacher she was hoping for and came home with good information about her great first day back (after I forced her inside to sit down and chat with me) . She likes that her teacher is organized, has everything planned for the day, is nice, and that she chose good partners for everyone to sit by (kids who didn't know each other yet). Morgan is really excited to have a lot of her friends in her class this year. She seems to be in her element back to a routine and schoolwork. She loves to be busy and challenged!All the kids on the block out waiting for the bus in the morning. We started a tradition of having "breakfast at the bus stop" every year on the first day of school.

The girls on our block! Anna, Molly, Ima, and Morgan.
The boys on our block! Isaac, Alex, Sam and Michael.I got to ride the bus to school with Isaac on his first day.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Robbed of Our Last Week of Summer

If you've been keeping up with the news you may have read about the storms that have been frolicking through the Midwest these past few weeks. Our last week of summer has been rather soggy, but truthfully the rain normally comes at night and the days haven't been too bad. The grass is lush and green and my tomatoes are growing like Jack's beanstalk. Most people don't have sprinkler systems in our area so we tend to welcome the rain. Thankfully my kids sleep like hibernating bears so the loudest claps of thunder and brightest flashes of lightening don't seem to phase them at night. All in all the rain hasn't disrupted our life much.

Never the less, we've been robbed of our last week of summer, stuck inside the house. Not because of the weather as you'd expect, but because of the mean, nasty, bloodthirsty mosquitoes that have enjoyed breeding in these hot and damp conditions. They are awful. I can't take the garbage out without getting attacked. There are so many bugs that there can't possibly be enough food to go around, they must be starving (hopefully starving to death...then they'll die and be gone), so anytime we wander outside they swarm for a snack.

Night before last my neighbor called while getting the kids ready for bed. She was out of pull-ups, so I ran one over. As we talked outside for about 60 seconds I could feel the blood being sucked out of my body. I cut the conversation short and ran quickly inside to discover EIGHT new bites to add to the collection I'd already amassed!

The kids wake up each morning crying about one or two bites that are particularly uncomfortable. We've been keeping the Chiggerex cream out on the kitchen counter--which thankfully seems to provide some relief to the itching. The only side-effect is that it leaves them smelling like Grandpa covered in Ben Gay.

Bug spray doesn't help much at all. The mosquitoes are like hungry homeless vagrants digging for food in garbage cans. They are too hungry to be scared off by foul smelling chemicals.

Last night we decided we'd had enough of letting the mosquitoes rule our lives. So, we doused the kids in bug spray and headed out for a bike ride. We hypothesized that if we rode fast enough we could outrun the bugs. We came home with new bites but a little blood was a welcome sacrifice in exchange for some fresh air and exercise on the last Friday of summer vacation.

My legs are covered in bites and my arms are covered in bites, but my two favorites are the enormous zit-like bites right in the middle of my forehead. When you are thirty-five and have zit-like blemishes on your forehead you tend to want to conceal them with make-up. Unfortunately the heat and rain have left us with humid air, and when you combine humid air and foundation the result is clogged pores which then result in real zits. So now I'm left with a combination of mosquito bites that look like zits and real zits. I'm thirty five, I shouldn't be dealing with this crap! I'm ready to buy some they sell a variety with bug repellent?

Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm Not That Kind of Mom

I just spent a few minutes editing my profile. As it asked for my interests I was forced to reflect upon all the things I enjoy in life. There were a few things I noted that I am interested in, but don't seem to find time for in this season of my life (i.e. laundry,, I mean art, writing, piano). Somehow the chaos of life keeps me from getting to these things that I think would give me much joy if I'd only schedule them into my days. (That said, I should mention that since my first post I did recommit myself to reading. Some 1400 pages later I've triumphantly finished book 6 and 7 of the Harry Potter series. Thankfully my husband spent the weekend before me reading #7, so he was supportive of my slothful week of reading on the couch while the kids annihilated the house and ate Eggo waffles for every meal).

One of the things that popped into my mind as I updated the interests section of my profile was scrapbooking. There was a time in my life when I spent countless hours each month cropping, pasting, and cataloging our family memories into lovely albums. I proudly called myself a scrapbooker. And, I'll admit I was pretty good at it. Sometimes I'd even leave a newly finished page open on the coffee table just waiting for someone to admire my work and gush on my talent. I even went away on scrapbooking trips with girlfriends...and I really enjoyed myself. My first child has a beautiful baby book. Kids number two and three have empty books sitting in the cabinet (but thankfully #2 & 3 are boys and won't really care if I finish their books or not). I haven't completely given up on scrapbooking. I'm still a sucker for pretty papers, and I have a collection to prove it. Which is why I no longer call myself a scrapbooker, but a collector of scrapbooking supplies. What's the problem in that? Some people collect antiques, I collect scrapbooking supplies. Collections don't have to be used--so calling myself a collector eliminates the guilt felt for spending money on items that remain in bags and boxes never used. But here's the real problem. I have a huge collection of scrapbooking materials, and truth be told I'd love to set up the banquet table and hide away in the basement cropping to my hearts content. But, somehow I think it sounds lame--not cool enough. I mock the loads of Christmas letters we get each year in which it states, "In her spare time Julie (or other mom's name) enjoys scrapbooking". It sounds so generic, as if every good mom who loves her children should enjoy cataloging their family memories...and knitting, and smiling, and never loosing her patience. And so I rebel. I won't ever list scrapbooking as a hobby of mine (even if I someday begin to use my collection for something more than filling my already limited cabinet space). Because while I think I am a pretty patient person (on most days) I'm not "that kind of mom".

Friday, July 20, 2007

Awww, the moments that make it all worthwhile!

My adventurous, "I can do it all by myself", 2-year old, Ethan, pulled out a DVD and shoved in the player all by himself this morning. This in and of itself wasn't all that newsworthy.

As the movie started the Columbia Tri-Star pictures mascot appeared on screen--a beautiful Greek goddess looking woman holding a torch. Ethan looked at her and said, "She's cute". That caught me off guard, as I didn't realize he was old enough to have an opinion on who was cute and who wasn't. So, I probed further, "Is Alena (his 2-year old friend next door) cute?". He said, "no". Okay, here's the real test, "Is mommy cute?". Again, "no". Okay, "Is mommy pretty?". Again, "no". "Is mommy funny?". Again, "no". "Is mommy silly?". Again, "no". Then he reached over, grabbed my hand to hold it and said, "Mommy best friend".

Awwww, I'm still melting inside. While Ethan's adventurous spirit and curiosity leave me exhausted at the end of (or sometimes in the middle of) each day, moments like these make it all worthwhile!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Technology and Motherhood

I'm 35 and have been feeling a little, er--okay--a lot, out of touch with technology recently. For years I've heard my own mom say things like, "I just don't understand why people bother with e-mail. Isn't it a lot easier to just pick-up the phone and talk in person?" Well, I'm turning into my mom. Not that I have a problem with email. I'm very savvy in that department. But, I recently caught myself saying, "I don't understand texting, it's so cumbersome, if the phone is in your hand, why don't you just dial the number and save yourself a lot of trouble". Yikes! Sounds all too much like Nancy!

My husband is as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning over his new Blackberry, so now he's texting all his friends and family--including me. I keep reminding him that I don't have texting on my cell phone plan, and have no clue how much it's costing me to view the flashing smiley faces and photos he's sending my way, but that hasn't slowed him down. I decided it was time to overcome my fear of texting and give my thumbs the workout they've been needing (how many calories do you think texting burns?). In about the amount of time it's taken me to write the two paragraphs above, I was able to send him the following, "u shld take kids to fireworks aftr movie". In no more than 10 seconds he'd texted back a response. Rats! Now I'd committed to an exchange and was going to have to give up a considerable amount of my evening to type back and forth. How was I supposed to keep up with this pace?

For anyone savvy with texting, I come off sounding like someone afraid of technology. But truthfully, only a few short years ago I was a pro. I lived and worked in Silicon Valley and although I was a marketing person my friends and family routinely called me for technical support on their techno gadgets--and strange as it may sound now, I was generally able to provide pretty darn good free advice and assistance. Alas, after birthing and raising two more children (I had just one child back then) my brain has turned to mush (or so it seems to me on most days). My neighbors and I often joke that we can't imagine ourselves ever being employable again. It's hard to imagine that only five years ago I was making strategic decisions, adding value to a team of business professionals. And now, here I am struggeling to get a handle on texting. Ahhh, the joys of motherhood!

Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom. Truthfully I wouldn't want any other job right now. Years ago I used to see business professionals out to lunch and would yearn for the days when I too wore nice clothes and spent my days chatting intellectually with other adults. But, about a year ago I was out and about on a beautiful Spring day. My kids were excited to be meeting up with daddy for lunch. As we piled out of the car I spotted a group of office workers headed back to work after lunch. And for the first time I realized I pittied them instead of envied them. I was looking forward to laying in the cool grass at the park that afternoon and somehow an afternoon of breathing in stale boardroom air, staring at a computer screen and making phone calls paled in comparison to my plans.

So for now, I love motherhood, but need to find a way to exercise my brain more than I do currently. I love to read, but haven't made it a priority (my's just too easy to pull an HGTV show off the DVR rather than picking up a good book). I'm not sure texting will get my brain back in shape, but maybe it will make me feel a little more hip. We'll see. I'm skeptical. Nevertheless, I'm willing to try. I'm not ready to join the ranks of techno-incompetents just yet!