Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tag! ... I'm It

This is in response to Heather's post the other day. I've been "tagged." How exciting! I didn't even know I was playing! These things I share below are not exceptionally interesting, but I adore Heather and so I honor her request.

5 Joys/5 Fears/5 Obsessions/5 Suprising Facts

5 Joys
1. Talking to Chance about anything. He makes me laugh everyday.
2. Downloading a great picture from my digital camera and discovering that my hidden photography talent is finally starting to show itself.
3. The feeling I have when my house is clean and all my chores are done. It's a rare feeling. (I'm not having that feeling now.)
4. Watching my kids sleep. They are such wonderful children while they are sleeping.
5. Making cards. It's my art. I stink at all other forms of art.

5 Fears
1. Chance dying, the kids getting kidnapped or hurt. I can almost hear them screaming!
2. Laser Eye Surgery. I've worn contacts for 20 years and I badly want the surgery. My doctor recommended wearing glasses for awhile before having surgery - like 4-8 weeks. I've been wearing them for over two years now. I'm a serious chicken.
3. Taking cold medicine at night and then getting pulled over for a DUI the next morning.
4. Spiders.
5. Getting botulism from canned food. This is why I don't can peaches myself. I tell myself if Dole accidentally poisons their peaches, I'm going to hear about it on the news before I die.

5 Obsessions
1. Cleaning after handling raw chicken. It freaks me out - its so slimy!
2. Locking the doors and windows at night. Mostly, I make Chance check the house in the middle of the night.
3. Eating off real plates. Plastic is just fine for my children (and my husband even), but I hate it myself. Using real plates makes me feel like a real person and helps keep up the illusion that my cooking is as good as any fine dining restaurant. Plus, I have this strange fear that plastic will give me cancer.
4. Maps. Whenever Chance and I talk about going somewhere, I immediately want to see where it is in the world and how I'm going to get there. Chance doesn't get it, but he has a naturally amazing sense of direction. A map is a must. We're planning to drive to Disneyland in March and I'm sure he's already cringing.
5. Chocolate and Doritos. There's just something about it. It's the Britney Spears in me.

5 Surprising Facts
1. I have visited or lived in 29 states and traveled to 8 foreign countries.
2. I was a Madonna-wannabe when I was 10. She is the near opposite of everything I believe in, but I loved her. And now I secretly adore Britney Spears. She's a freakshow and I'm hooked.
3. I got engaged on Groundhog's Day. Seriously. February 2nd - like 12 days before Valentine's Day, the most romantic day of the year. But Chance was apparently too smitten with me to wait another 12 days, thus thwarting my chance of having the most perfect of all Valentine's Days, although I doubt many others have had such a romantic Groundhog's Day.
4. I make a mean pie crust.
5. I use a child-size toothbrush (my dental hygienist recommended it) because my mouth is so tiny.

Now I tag Jolie, Bianca, Laura, Angela and Stacy - but only if you want to play.

Friday, September 19, 2008

If I Had a Million Dollars

It used to be when Halloween came around you'd scramble around your house for materials to create a one-of-a-kind costume for nearly nothing out of pocket. A sheet, some crazy makeup, a pillowcase and you'd be set. If you had a real costume, handsewn or purchased at a store, you wore it until you shredded out of it like The Incredible Hulk. At least, that's the way I remember it. I still remember the witch costume I wore almost every year of my childhood. My grandmother may have sewn it. I put on this big, black cape-thing, ratted out my hair, put on my hat and I was good to go. It cost my mother nothing but a few sprays of hair spray.

My children have a box full of costumes we have purchased over the years. They dress up in them all the time when playing. Several were purchased at after-Halloween sales, garage sales and consignment shops. Each one of my children have at least 3 costumes (Emma has 7!) they could wear right now for Halloween next month. Unfortunately, we have corrupted them into believing they must have a new costume every October. Next month Tyler will masquerade as Darth Vader, Noah as Jango Fett and Emma (surprise!) as Cinderella.

These costumes definitely cost more than a few sprays of hairspray. Apparently, the apple has fallen very far from the tree in this case.


Heard at the dinner table last night:

Tyler: I wish we were rich.
Noah: Yeah, then we wouldn't have to do our laundry.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Noah is 5 today. I simply cannot believe it. A whole handful of years gone by. In some ways I can't remember what life was like without Noah, but in others it feels like he only just arrived here as a tiny baby. Noah was our miracle baby. He proved all our medical experts false that I could conceive a child. Tyler came along in our fourth year of marriage suddenly with only a few days notice. The adoption process took over 18 months to complete, but it was final one week before Noah was born. The pregnancy was somewhat difficult for me, but I had never been so happy or worried about someone I had never met. I couldn't imagine I could love another child as much as I loved Tyler, but I remember my mother-in-law Jayne telling me that babies arrive with their own extra love. How true! Somehow my heart expanded enormously to include him. At the end of the pregnancy, I became extremely ill. My doctor had to deliver Noah almost 7 weeks early. He arrived at 4:09 pm on September 9th, 2003. He was so tiny! Only 4 lbs. 15 oz. and was a mere 18 inches long. When curled up he was just a bit longer than Chance's hand. The doctors were sure he would need to stay in the NICU for about 4 weeks. But miraculously, Noah was much more developed than the doctors imagined and he came home only a few days later. I remember what a beautiful feeling there was in our home after he left the hospital. His sweet little spirit filled our home. I remember how very real and tangible it felt to me.

Since that day, Noah has been our joy. He is shy, tender, uniquely perceptive about the world and full of imagination and comedy. I have no idea where or how he will journey through this life, but I enjoy watching his travels.

“When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.” ~ E.T. Sullivan

Below: homage to Noah, including a hospital shot with Chance's hand.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Another one bites the dust

Noah started preschool today. I'm happy and sad all at once. He loves his teachers and new friends and all the exciting newness of preschool, but I miss him. I miss him terribly. The house feels so strange without him running around fighting with Emma and humming Star Wars. I never imagined I would say this, but for a few hours each week the house is almost too quiet. Emma misses him, too. We're a couple of weepy women everyday when we drop him off.

It is nice to have some time alone with Emma a few days each week. We spend one day together at Ballet class and the rest doing whatever we want. Well, whatever she wants anyway. I had this idea that we would spend hours reading, playing and doing delightfully girly things around the house together. Mostly, she want to go out. She doesn't want to hang out with me at the house - its fairly dull without her brothers around.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Playing Outdoors

We spent a tranquil afternoon on Saturday at Lake Wilderness Park with extended family in an early celebration for Noah's birthday. It somehow slipped my mind that it was Labor Day weekend and we arrived at the park to find all the picnic tables taken near the playground. My kids love playing there so it has become our picnic place. We found a quiet place near the lake and I worried that the kids would nag like crazy for the playground. But thankfully, they found tossing rocks into the lake and climbing on some old tree stumps absolutely thrilling. This was a comfort to me because one of the primary things I miss about Minnesota is the way my children played outdoors. There were few parks in our part of Minnesota because the whole area was a park. A beautiful wilderness (at times cold or mosquito infected, but still beautiful). During the warmer months Tyler always had a minimum of three frogs with him and the kids spent hours exploring outside. I didn't worry about cars speeding down our street or construction debris spread all about my tiny backyard. I didn't have to drive them anywhere for entertainment. They had acres of land to explore with few restrictions. As much as I longed to move back to the NW, I truly miss the safe, quiet life we lived. In our world of scheduled playdates and designated playgrounds, I am grateful that my children can still completely entertain themselves with nothing but a few rocks and trees.

"The essence of childhood, of course, is play, which my friends and I did endlessly on streets that we reluctantly shared with traffic." ~ Bill Cosby