Monday, October 29, 2012

Eight years!

Holy crap. Today Adrian is EIGHT. 
And it's hard to believe that he's been here for so long. We've traveled a lot together, and most days we're a great team. 
Would I do it all over again? Absolutely. He's taught me to become more patient, more kind, more generous. He's taught me that I have the power to heal scraped knees and hurt feelings. He's taught me that a word in the right place is will outweigh any number of common parental bargains. Being a parent to Adrian is never dull. It requires quick thinking, mounds of empathy, and a sense of humor.
Here's to Adrian! May the days ahead of you be full of joy. May you find pleasure in work, always have a full belly, and fuller heart. I love you for always.

Adrian at one month

At 7 months, with the famous "snorty pig face"

2006: At 2 at our belated wedding reception

2007: At 3 at the Aquarium

2008: At 4, with Aunt Erica (who is a Mom now)

2009: At 5, for his pirate birthday party 

2010: The first day of kindergarten (almost 6)

2011: Our East-coast road trip (almost 7)

2012: Last week (almost 8)

You make me crazy, you make me laugh, you make me proud. I love you, little man.
Happy birthday.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm baack!

Well, sort of. Mostly, this is a photo-heavy post about our trip to visit our friends down state. 

It was a 5 hour road trip, during which Fiona got sick twice. But once it got dark out, she was no longer motion sick. I figured out that she can't have activities that require her to look at her lap. So, there was music, and looking out the window, and much goofing off in the back seat.

We got to our destination at 9:00 pm, put the kids in their PJ's and put them to bed. Then the grown-ups (foolishly) stayed up talking and laughing until 4 am. 
Saturday was a day of "yeah, sure, whatever" because I didn't have the energy to argue and it was surprisingly cold outside.
Thankfully what the kids wanted to do was feed, groom, and enjoy animals. Also known as "farm chores".

Adrian and Gracie Lou the donkey. She's shy, but if she thinks you have food she'll come to you. She spent 5 minutes just smelling Adrian. Her whiskers were tickly and he was giggling and I was enjoying his laughter so much I nearly forgot to take a picture.

After saying hello to the donkey, goats, and horses, it was time to let the chickens out. The polish roosters with their ridiculous head feathers are always a favorite.

And eggs! Which were still be laid on the floor--this led to the chore of "preparing the nest boxes". Good times.

Back to visit Gracie Lou. Fiona really really loves the donkeys and horses.

And of course there are golf cart rides and funny faces.

Horse grooming! They have their winter coats now, so they're all fluffy.

Bareback riding! 

More bareback riding! At one point, Fiona forgot to hold on to the mane and slid off of the horse. She did it in such a way that it looked intentional. 

Before we left, Adrian was already trying to get us to pin down dates to come back.
And now Aaron is thinking "how hard could it be to get a little bit of land and do a little bit of farming?"

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Pictures! Times four.

Did you know that I have four drafts of posts that never went live? I started a thought, got called away, and when I came back to it I discovered I had run out of things to say.

So I will regale you with photographs and short stories...
My superawesome brother and his superawesome girlfriend came to stay. When I walked into the room, my brother was using his girlfriend as a laptop desk and explaining something sciencey to the kids. He's like that. He also dislikes having his photo taken, so I think in the past 25 years I have 3 photos of him NOT pulling a face. The kids adore them, and it's always a major bummer to see them leave (Darn you, Connecticut! Why are you so far away?!)

Last week my sister in law had a baby girl! I'M AN AUNT! I'm pretty stoked about this because I had the two coolest Aunts on the planet growing up (even cooler than the ones in Practical Magic--hard to believe, but true). Aunt Carmela and Aunt Jan gave me some serious ideas about what it means to be an aunt, and I plan to live up to the title. 

Here's Fiona holding her cousin; Avery. Double the cute.

And here is Adrian, remarkably good with tiny humans. 

And here is the gruesome twosome at Lake Katherine. I took a dozen photos, and this was the best one. 

Our summer has been busy, near to over-full and I haven't gotten much rest. This week, the kids are with their grandparents so I am making art, riding my bicycle, going to yoga, blogging, and taking an online class. So I probably won't get a whole lot of rest this week either...

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I was going to post an awesome retro photo of my dad, but I ran out of time and wasn't able to dig through the photo box.
Maybe next year, y'all.

But I thought I would provide for you a list of the 10 most important things my dad taught me.

1. Life's not fair. But it IS funny--so laugh often.
2. There's a place for everything, and everything in it's place. (Although I have learned that this only works if everyone plays by this rule)
3. Life's short--make it a priority to do things you love to do, and not just things you have to do.
4. Any time is an appropriate time to quote Shakespeare. I inherited my love for the bard from my Dad, for sure. When I was younger he frequently, and without provocation, would launch into a soliloquy whilst standing in the kitchen, making a sandwich. Also, he had this shirt that said: First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers. He IS a lawyer. This was not lost on me (see # 1).
5. Food is made to be appreciated. We would drive out of our way to have lunch as a family at a new restaurant on the weekends--and because of my dad I have eaten (and enjoyed): oysters--when I was 5, calamari--at age 7, haggis--at age 15. Even now, I make it a point to eat adventurously and with enjoyment (see # 3)
6. Make a point to travel. The world is a big place, and full of fascinating cultures, landscapes, and climates.
7. Make a point to meet new people. Because it's not what you know, it's who you know. My life has been so enriched by this virtue--I have such an amazing circle of friends across the States.
8. Be brave. And as I have found out--bravery is holding on to your fear while you move forward. From allowing me to fly on an airplane alone at the age of 7, to helping me move to Oklahoma to an apartment and a job sight unseen my Dad has always believed that I could do it. And that helped me believe.
9. Family is important. Friends are important.
10. Work is work. Nobody died wishing they had spent more time at the office.

Thanks Dad, for giving me a (twisted) sense of humor, a love of Shakespeare, food, history, and craftsmanship. Thanks for raising me to use power tools, change a tire, and lift heavy stuff. Thanks for our trips to the ice cream shop, family vacations, and nights at the theater. Thanks for moving me half way across the country in 48 hours, and thanks for giving me the freedom to make my own decisions--and make my own mistakes too. I love you.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

It's Summer Vacation!

This past weekend, we went downstate (260 miles downstate) for a wedding, and to visit friends who had relocated there.
Breakfast was REAL bacon--from the butcher, not the grocery store. And farm-fresh eggs! 
After breakfast, we got to out and meet the menagerie.

This is Gracie Lou. She's a four month old Death Valley Burro. She lives with two goats named Jose and Cuervo (who would not stand still, thus no photos). I took a bazillion photos of her because she's so cute, but I'll spare you the vast majority of them.

Look at those lashes! She was shy, but curious.

Fiona was standing still long enough for me to take pictures of her face! That's Aunt Lydia behind her.

How do you haul water and feed? Miss Patti uses a golf cart! The kids thought this was the most excellent mode of transportation. Adrian has asked for one every day since we got home.

I think Miss Patti enjoys it, too.

Next, the kids got to go and meet Hobo, Miss Patti's new horse. He's not yet ride-able, but that is the goal for the future.

She had the kids up off the ground to pet Hobo, in case he got spooked.

But he seemed to really enjoy the attention, and the kids enjoyed it too.

These are some of the hens that Patti is raising. They aren't layers yet, but should be come fall.

This one is an Easter egg chicken. Guessing from the tail, I suspect it's a rooster not a hen.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Yesterday was Mother's Day. Also known as: Pajama Day! I like to take very nearly any excuse to spend the day in my pajamas. After dinner (left overs smorgasbord) last night, the kids wanted to go outside to play. I was sitting in the living room reading when I heard Adrian making "karate" noises--I looked out the window to see him with a day lily leaf tied around his head.

Here he is, striking a pose. 

Fiona, meanwhile, was creating a nest. For tigers.

Check out these muscles.

Searching for more nest-making materials.

Adrian, Fiona, and the Mulberry tree.

In action!

And it was after 15 minutes of trying to achieve a photograph of Fiona's face that I reached the conclusion that I need a faster camera. My shutter speed is no match for a four-year-old on the move. 
I guess I know what's going on my birthday list....

Have a wonderful week!
We'll be outside, enjoying the weather.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Every new beginning...

Today, I have an interview at a new tattoo shop. I am cheerfully accepting all good-luck wishes. Friday will be my last day at the shop where I currently work. 

Over the weekend, I started a short story. I had started to read another book, and I couldn't because this other story kept pushing it's way to the front of my brain. When I realized that I had read the same sentance 5 times without comprehending it, I put down the book and began to get the words out of my head. Right now, all I can tell you is that it is a story about a journey, both physical and metaphysical, and there may be some magic in it. 

I also have been making appointments for the kids to fill out all of the necessary papers for their return to school in the fall, and trying to figure the best way to occupy them this summer...pool pass? classes? trips to visit family? All of these options hinge on my interview today.

And I have been working on a project, to be revealed June 1. It's kind of a big deal, and I'm excited.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April adventures

Hello hello!
I am experiencing a case of butt-sitting, so I thought I should make it productive butt-sitting. 
A few weekends ago, the weather was beautiful and we didn't have any plans on a Sunday so we went to the zoo!
The kids hammed it up.

And hammed it up some more.

Then we went into The Living Coast exhibit. It is pretty cool-it's indoors and set off the coast of South America. 

Look at the colors!

I had to resort to using my flash to get this guy. I'm sure I traumatized the lionfish in the background.

After The Living Coast, we went over to see the bears and the wolves. 

Everybody was napping.

Did I tell you about science fair?
Adrian and his "number one best friend" Chase made a volcano. At Chase's house. After the fair was over, we took home the volcano so that we could have an on-camera demonstration.


Aaron and Adrian prep the volcano.

In goes the vinegar...

And it looks like we need more baking soda...

Voila! Eruption!

Science is cool.

And now we are up to our eyeballs in Baseball--which Adrian doesn't enjoy as much as he thought he would. Two practices and two games a week are getting in the way of his "Lego time".
Only 8 more weeks.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hay y'all!

I'm not sure when last I posted, as I have been merely riding along the crazy train that has been my life for the past four weeks. (Four months?)

Big man is in baseball, which is a huge commitment compared to t-ball. Practices are twice as long & twice as often. We haven't even had the first game & he has already decided he doesn't want to play next year. He's decided he's more of a "science guy", which is totally cool, but we're going to try a few other sports (basketball, swimming) before we rule out physical activity all together.

Little miss is not involved in anything, because with my working evenings, there aren't enough bodies to shuttle two kids to two separate locations. She's really getting the short end of being a younger sibling, poor duck. Once baseball is over, we'll have them both enrolled in swimming and possibly another activity--because I don't know that I can handle all of the referee duties that come with summer break!

I have been working, and trying to find a new place to work, and making art, and teaching at a women's retreat, and getting ready to officiate a wedding, and getting the garden in order, and reading for book club.

Next time, there may be photos--if I get around to uploading them off of the camera. (We went to the zoo last weekend and I got a couple of good ones!)

TTFN--TaTa For Now!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Ostara for us, thanks!

A few weeks back, we celebrated Ostara with some close friends. Ostara falls on the Spring Equinox--it's a celebration of spring--birds eggs, rabbits, plants in bloom. Due to our unseasonably warm March the trees were in bloom and the kids were able to hunt eggs without hats, scarves, mittens, and winter coats. 
It started with confetti filled eggs that they were supposed to crack on each other (Fion decided to crack hers on her own head), then a race to grab the eggs off the lawn, and finally a spring feast. 
It was good fun and great weather.
This weekend the in-laws are coming up and the kids will get to hunt eggs again--they're pretty pleased with the double-festivities. 
And as Fiona told me last night when I tucked her into bed "Nana and Papa are fun. I'm glad they are are coming". 
Have a great spring weekend, whatever you celebrate!