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Friday, February 28, 2014

conversation with a newly crowned five year old

But miss, I say, her pink crown sparkling, eyes twinkling as she sits on my lap, I'm not sure I can let you be five! Five is very grown up. 

Her eyes cloud for a second, but mom, that's how it works. Kids grow and grow and then they turn into moms. Or they grow and grow to be dads. That's how it works!

But, if you grow up, I say, you won't be my little girl. 

She smiles. Oh mom, I'll always be your little girl. And I'll live in your house and cozy you and sleep in my bed. Except maybe I'll get a bigger bed. And then when I get married to my own dad I'll build a house next to yours and live right next to you and I'll come over all the time!

Oh good! I say. Will you bring your babies too?

Uh huh. I'll have two, no three babies. Jon and um, Flowerbelle and, hmmmm Sunset. Sunset Summer. Yes! Except maybe the dad will have a name idea too so then I'll have to decide. 

And you will visit me? 

Yep. So okay?

Okay, I say. I guess. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

the lunch dilemma

So. If you are like me you hit 11 o clock every morning and realize 1) all you've consumed today is coffee and 2) the kids cheerios was four hours ago and they are hungry. AGAIN. (Always with the eating these ones! Every. Gosh. Darn. Day!!)

Here is my latest (brilliant I might add) solution which is my go to these days.

Blue Tray Lunches.

Its a plastic blue party tray from the Target dollar spot.

I take it out. I fill in each one of the little spaces with various foods - blueberries, some crackers, cheese squares, apple slices, peanuts and raisins (with chocolate chips if I am feeling generous) maybe some toasted pita and some hummous in the middle, carrot sticks, etc etc etc.

You get the idea.

I set it down.

Their eyes light up.

They eat.


No waste. No crusts. No harping to finish.

Its kind of lovely.

And it gets over the - "here is another peanut butter sandwich" thing. And I don't have to make macaroni and cheese.

And it gets them to try new things. Oh hey. These red raisins? (Dried cranberries) they are sweet! Like candy! I like them!

Yes. Like candy. Eat my pretty ones. EAT. HA HA HA.

We do this for dinner sometimes too. Snacky dinner we call it. Sometimes dada might get fancy cheese, some smoked fish (which we ALL love) olives, hardboiled eggs. etc

You should totally try it.

How is that for a lackluster post?? HA.

You know, here is the thing. Last week. Headache. Heavy post which led to some nice wonderful supportive emails and some not, which made me sad. Then, more headache. Then baby gets the inevitable-post-candy-binge cold the kids had from Valentines day and our outings over that weekend. Then this week. I GET THE COLD. Aching head. Puffy glands. The whole bit.I texted today to dada I CANNOT MOVE. HELP. And so much the worst crabby mama ever today.

And yes, I totally pulled the blue tray out for dinner. Along with popcorn and reheated mac and cheese.

'Cause I rock like that.

(Actually it was awful. I yelled when they complained about eating reheated food. YOU SHOULD HAVE EATEN YOUR LUNCH THEN.)

Yeesh. What a day.

Time for early bed. Or an episode of Weeds on Netflix.

Hugs lovelies.

Friday, February 21, 2014

straight up mama

You know, some days I gloss over real life in my posts. I don't mean to, it seems easier maybe. Then some days the 'real life' I am glossing over seems too big. So then I don't write at all.

This is where I have been these past few weeks I suppose.

The real is big. Very big. And today the big-ness of it is just exploding out of me. So rather than glossing over, I need to write. I need to write real.

One. I have a MASSIVE headache. It feels like someone is driving a screwdriver into the back of my skull. This perhaps makes self-editing difficult. So, again, the writing explosion.

Two. Things have been happening this winter. Crap things like running out of propane because we used it up quicker than we thought and our delivery was late and then the price of propane (insane) has been making life difficult all around. And then our account got hacked and so we twiddle our thumbs and wait for the bank to give it back. Eventually? And then it snows a million feet yesterday and dada is stuck in town and ALL the kids want to do is watch Netflix and what with the headache and such I cant say no. Physically. Unable. To. Say. No. And after weeks of stuff like this I am ready for the crap things to run out. I mean, right?

You would think I am hopped up on painkillers right now the way this post is coming out. Nope. I am not. Though I think we have something stronger than Tylenol somewhere around here...

And now Daniel Tiger is singing. Loudly. MAKE IT STOP.

Moving on.

Three. Other things have been happening. Good things. And I am gonna put myself out there - since this is a "real life-unglossy" post - and tell you about it.

Writing. Amazingly well. Like the story is there just waiting to come out. And I just have to show up. Not to say its any good, mind you, that remains to be seen. But its a-coming. SO there is that.

Other doing. Namely, Hawaii, teaching, me AND the fam. And I think its gonna work. And possibly turn into a little org that does this. With me doing the doing-ness of it. And. I think. Really? I can do all this? And I know it can happen, or it could, but to date my life has been quite small for several years, and this rapid expansion, well, rather blinding. You know? (That could also be the migraine auras?)

So. In any case. Baby sniffles. Messy house. Headaches. (Dada says, "go lie down in a dark room?" and I think "yes, that would likely help. buts its NOT HAPPENING.") I am in my fleece pants, again. But we have figured out how to do a huge fire in the wood stove which has cut the propane use in half and I think I found someone to come in and help clean the house here and there and its nearly March and then, you know, cheese ball me, its the dreams. The dreams are becoming real. And it feels like I am just stepping up to claim them. And I standing here rather in awe.

So I thought I'd share. There it is, in the clicky-link on the right. My ideas all open and shit, for everyone to see. Kinda freaky/freeing all at once. Which pretty much describes the best things in life, right??? (This is what I am telling myself anyway.)

adventuring kitty. this stuff is COLD. ha.

mom, he says, whats your favorite thing to do? um, sleep? no, mom, I mean really. Maybe reading? writing?
mine is reading mom. I love to read. I told this to dada and we high-fived. we are doing something RIGHT!

this is what the house looks like right now. okay fine, EVERY DAY.

dancing sisters.

zen sisters.

hey kids. a branch fell near your snowman last night! OH, did it kill him?? HA HA.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

big news!

(Got you, didn't I!)

Little man. Front tooth. Cuteness overload. 

("Mom," he says panicked, "ahh! I can't thay th! I can't talk! Oh no! Hmmm.. Thay thomething? Ha Ha! it thounds tho funny!")

(Use that one mom! My eye is red! COOL!)
Friday, February 14, 2014

be mine, valentine

It's 6am. Quiet. Kids still in bed after a long restless night of sleep. A full day of red and pink sugar filled activities ahead, extending out into the weekend and culminating with the giant cousin filled valentines extravaganza that we do ever year.

And it's fun (for them. HA HA.)

And sure, I like the chocolate (though I swear I'm going off sugar for reals on Monday!) and I like the flowers too. And I especially like the for some reason necessary excuse to go out to dinner with dada. 

But then I think, as the morning stars blaze in the still dark sky, steaming coffee next to me, about the message of it all, shoving all the lovey goody-ness into one day. 

As little man said when we were making out piles of valentines yesterday:

"This is such a nice thing. Why don't people do this all the time?"

My kind hearted boy. 

I got into a discussion about it with some mamas the other day about Valentines. Some hold the day in such disdain, which caught me off guard. It's a tradition, to me, you know? The flowers. The candies. The dinner out. 

But it's also a prompt. 

As I write a little poem for each of our kids on construction paper hearts, in the darkness of the kitchen, I start to think about them, the details of their little selves, the quirks, the shining moments of their day to day. 

Little man offering to read a book to baby when I told her I was too busy. 

The way little miss throws her arms in agony around my neck to say sorry for yelling. 

The sweetness of baby, no longer baby, who reaches out to touch my arm in her sleep. Mama, are you there? Stay near to me. 

Their dada who still, after 15 years, gladly gets up to get me a glass of water in the middle of the night, who gets up at an ungodly hour to make sure my van has enough gas to make it to homeschool group. Who let's me put my cold toes on his legs at night to warm up.

They fill my heart.
And I feel ashamed to admit it(somewhat? but maybe not?) but I appreciate the prompt. The national pausing to think about love and those we love. And buy them sugary treats. And flowers. And take them out for dinner. HA. 

But little mans words are ringing in my head as I sit, sipping coffee, waiting for the day to begin. And it makes me resolve to open up my reserves of love more freely this year. Oh yes, they hear I love you from us. But, to show them, to live out that love, more freely. To write silly poems on construction paper hearts on a Tuesday in the middle of March. To sing praises about a job well done in cursive copy work. To sit and read Calvin and Hobbes for 15 minutes, even when your to do list is a mile long. To build Duplo castles for two princesses. To insist that the other person take the one serving of homemade pot pie for lunch the next day. To create moments of love, each day, every day, authentic moments that ring true, that are not pink and red and sugar-filled but that are raw and real and honest and tired even, that take every ounce of energy to accomplish (for example, listening to more Ninjago play scenarios with rapt attention.) 

These, these moments of love, day in and out, the year long through. 


More of this. 


Saturday, February 8, 2014

saturday and seeds







Ipad games.

Blues Clues.

Fire in the stove.

Chop some wood.

Steaming homemade chai.

Sit at the table, writing.

And here I am.

I have a headache. I took some of this and some of that but nothing seems to cut it. Now I feel fuzzy and hazy with a headache in the back of my brain, sucking up rational thought.

But still. I sit at the computer. Staring at my novel in progress. Thinking, mulling, I could finish this. This could really be something.

Do you ever feel like that about the dreams rolling around inside you? One glorious moment one day you wake up, after taking baby steps for years, and think, soooooo, okay, this could be something, this might actually all happen!

And you are aghast.

And for awhile you let it all sit there. Thinking about it. Not sure whether to be excited or not. Because, oh the work of it, so consuming! And the kids and the house and the cats and the chickens and the schooling and the grocery shopping, and how to do all that and this? HOW?

But then you sit down the next day, and you do it.

And the next day. You sit down and do it again. And the words pour out.

And baby step at a time, you make it happen.

And this is when the feeling of suspicion, hesitating belief in oneself, becomes full throttle "DAMMIT THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN."

And you keep showing up. And you keep going at it. One step at a time. 500 words here and there. A painting here and there. A phone call to a contact. A conversation over coffee.

Then suddenly.

DAMMIT, this IS happening!

And it seems unbelievable. Who me? This is someone else, right?



And this is where I am at lately, dear mommies.

Dada is shaking things up, making things happen, his dreams which combined as we are makes it OUR dreams are getting there, one baby step at a time.

And I got a random phone call last month, saying oh yea, that thing we have been talking about for years (TEACHING. HAWAII). Let's do that. Now. And. Folks. I think. I think its going to happen.

Scary as shit

Beautiful as all get out.

And I realize how dreams are just seeds.

The work of the garden seems like it is the thing. Out in the sun. Sweating. Planting. Digging. Weeding. Watering.

But the work is also done in February. Flipping through catalogues. Comparing varieties of beans and sweet corn. The best deals on berry bushes and strawberry plants. Solidifying those dreams. You've got to have the seeds to plant the garden.

And suddenly its May. And it is time to plant. And you get the call. And the book idea that swirled around in your head is actually SOMETHING worth planting. And those pictures of what could be is starting to become. Real. And you keep at it. And you feel blessed. And you are.

Now about those goats and that yurt....


Hope your February is full of dreams. Garden planting time is around the corner!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

surviving the polar vortex

Polar vortexes? Vortexi?

Because there has been more than one sweep of wind this winter, coming from the blasted north, driving us inside, and insane.

But we are managing. Quite well actually.

I am amazed at how my kids are playing so well together these days. Queens and knights and "mean baby princess" (RUN, its mean baby princess!) and legos and duplos and animals and "baby." Its like a gift from on-high. With only the occasional he-shoved-me-so-I-bit-him run ins.

I have had many people from warmer climates, or even here for that matter, say to me things like "I don't know how you do it." or "Really? All day with your kids? ALL DAY?  And you don't GO ANYWHERE? FOR DAYS ON END??"



Does that make me a loser? Crazy? Or boring? Weird?

Pretty much got the weird covered I suppose.

But still.

I thought a pictorial might help. A picture tour, if you will, of how we have filled our polar vortex days this winter.

So, here you are.

honey lemon ginger kombucha tea EVERY DAY

our sweet little wood stove (which smoked so horribly this morning I am mad at it right now)

geraniums from our summer patio boxes. still alive

flowers from dada

little miss was in tears the other day because she missed flowers
we took her to the conservatory and saw so many
of these pretties. (cyclamen) I brought one home from the store
and she nearly cried again...

my little reminder on my windowsill. SPRING WILL COME AGAIN

homemade pop tarts. truly amazing.

LOTS of tea

a cheery bright room

lots of cozying in the sun
have you read this as an adult? the near starvation and endless blizzards
really puts the winter in perspective for me....

we made a button lamp like ma did. I wouldn't recommend trying this HA
I put it out with baking soda. and didn't tell dada.

simmering my elderberry syrup concoction. SO important to stay on top of supplements.

we eat lots of coconut oil (on broccoli, in rice, in baking, etc.) and take fish oil and D daily

wicked good slippers and fleece pants.

the finished elderberry syrup

homemade pot pie. LOVE.

dreaming of flowers. look at that wistful little face!

and then yes. quite a bit of this too.

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