Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday in Love

It's Friday and I love...
...this kid
Who will be 11 in a few short days, and oh the inner conflict! Do I celebrate, do I weep, do I force him back into a crib and babyhood? Yesterday I scooped him up in the cradle hold and hummed the night-night song. (Not because of all my gym-time body-building - (rawr) Just because he is a light, lean thing.) Rick & I chuckled, Cole looked beatific. He's my late bloomer, my little guy that wants to be big. He is one part tween, one part tiny boy climbing in our laps for kisses. He is a wild bike-racer, and a small teary-eyed boy with a boo-boo. Shake it off, we chide. But the day they shake it off and need no tender care is the day... the day. That day. Grow up; stay small. Be mature; be a wailing toddler. 
See? Conflict is me.
Happy Friday, and may your world be conflict-free! ;-)

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Purpose and perspective, two pals are they.
Life is a continuous honing in of purpose, and spiraling out of perspective, lest we get lost in the shuffle. My conversations this week have served to remind me of purpose.
Purpose in parenting - why I do what I do, why I should do it to the best of my ability. That's where perspective comes into play... for it is all too easy to get swallowed up in the minutiae and overwhelmed in the moment, and take your eye off the prize. I talked with a friend about the upcoming move to middle school for our 10 year olds, and we bemoaned our babies' growth, and the necessary changes of life that come with moving into adolescence.

Turn back the clock! Turn back the clock! Whoa this gig is hard, these kids are constant, I feel so challenged, never ending cycle of food and bathing, correcting and reminding, can I get through the day?

Thank you, sweet Ms. Becky, for in your comment on May Madness you have enhanced my perspective. It takes reminders, often and well-seasoned reminders to break into the mad dash and cause me to take a breath.

I chose this path, I chose this gig, I desired it with all my heart, back before I knew any of the wherefores and how-to-fors or strengths required. And no, mama never told me there'd be days like this, but I'll take that up with her later!

I forget to live with intention, and parent with purpose in the large as well as the small. They get drilled on the small stuff - the polite manners, the clean hands, the respect for others - but when does the life lesson come? The dissertation on self-respect, the teaching of personal dignity and self-worth? Because though it may be present in the way we treat others, the time will come when these children will need the words. They will need the concept to hold in their heads, and to bank on as they make choices, as they move through their world of constant bombardment.
They need more than anything to know their own value. To know the value of their being, the worth of good character and the unassailable coin of integrity.
Then I will have done my job.
It's a big one, and it is fraught with setbacks, but that's also a life lesson, right? Life will not always be
ideal, but that doesn't mean we can't be idealistic.

Purpose and perspective, I have you in my sights.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

May Madness

It's approaching... I feel it in the scattered mental pull of 20 directions, the anxious itch in my fingers, the tendency towards procrastination. It starts May 1st with Cole's birthday, runs through Phoenix's birthday May 12th and doesn't end until school is out, and all the Field Days and Class parties have been celebrated. Of course the anxiety part begins mid-April. Hello! Then the panic sets in, oh, about yesterday, when I realized Cole's birthday is in a WEEK. Did I forget to mention the 1st week of May is also baseball playoffs for Cole's team, with Rick coaching? Go Team, 3 nights a week!
See? The itch is well justified.
The procrastination, well... here I am, not doing productive things - {oh hai}.
That too is well justified (it's my world, I say so). Isabella is home with strep throat, so I might as well just tidy up around the house and wait to see if another shoe will fall.
I have all around me the bits and pieces of Useful Projects that are going on. For example, I started my Teacher gifts, and if I wrap this post up pretty soon, I could finish them. Never was a tiny word so big, that word "IF." :)
The classic procrastination tactic I love to employ is this: re-read a favorite book series, and choose one that is so intense and suspenseful, it turns into one gigantic reading binge full of early mornings, late nights, never-ending coffee and avoidance of all Useful Projects. (This tactic works best when Rick is traveling. Sssh. It fits seamlessly into my role of watchful mother, as I perch in my spot outside, while the kids ride bikes until dusk.)
The Fever Series fits the bill. It has all my favorite elements: (no, not vampires - but close! paranormals galore!) suspense, magic, supernatural creatures and settings and a really fun female protagonist. In this series, set in present-day Dublin, the main character is from small-town Georgia - but finds herself in a world where the walls between the realm of our world and the world of Faery are shattering....
I've read these books 3 times and they are STILL so good. A total go-to set. The best/worst part is that when you are through, you will wish you weren't, so you'll start them all over. The hallmark of a great book! That, and falling in love with the characters. Oh my.
With that, I'm stepping away from the computer, away from the finished books, and over toward my Useful project pile. To be shared with you soon!
Happy Day...

Friday, April 20, 2012

A New Name

I am The Todfather. I will break you. But first, I will methodically break an entire box of new crayons. One by one. S-N-A-P. I got my eyes on you. Never doubt it.

(Must be Phoen-week around here. Hoo-ah!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Riding with The Phoenix

Scenes from the spring break drive...
 Yes, my seat is reclined back INTO his lap, so the sultan can comfortably claim my hand.
 Yes, yes, you're sweet. but we've been in the car for 3.5 hours my dear. Sit back.
 Sure, take a picture of me. Yes, yes - "cheese" indeed. 
Sure, take one of Daddy. His arm isn't contorted or numb. Drive faster Daddy.
Doesn't it look peaceful, all nostalgic? Don't be fooled. There is much squealing etched into those shots.
And this is why we don't take many trips.
The End.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Playing the odds

Guess who will be riding on the bus to Pre-K?!
The Littlest Lear!!!
Wow, that was some serious thumb-sitting ya'll did. What a fantastic relief and sense of luck, to see his number drawn in the lottery! Happy Friday friends, go out and get some good luck for yourselves, I'll share.
Lucky little stinker

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sitting on thumbs

If you aren't, I hope you will. This Friday is the kicker. The elementary school has a lottery to fill the 19 Pre-K spaces, and you-know-who's name is in the bucket. Yes, I was tempted to add some ticky-tack or gorilla glue to his ticket so it would have to be drawn. I won't lie. I've done all I can with living right and having some modest amounts of luck, and now it is up to the fates. Typically, there are over 100 applicants for those 19 spaces. And if you've been around borderland for ages, you will remember that I played this lottery game with the girls too. My luck was in that year. Will it hold???
Oh, and why the thumb-sitting? Well, funny thing, that. We would say "Cross your fingers!" but that doesn't always translate, and ever since my Swedish friend told me that their saying equates to "Sitting on my thumbs!" I have had to use it. I wonder if crossing one's fingers sounds as funny to them as sitting on thumbs does to us. Anyway, how about we all cross them AND sit on them, in hopes that Phoenix Mr. Big Todzilla gets into that class, hmm? Friday the 13th. Who has a drawing on that day?!

On another note, guess what activity is in our Parks & Rec Summer Guide? I'll give you a hint. It's not dance, or swim or gymnastics. It's..... Tree Climbing! Wow. Yes, for the low, low price of $28, your child can climb a tree in a safe, learning environment. (Oh my heavens to betsy, we are raising a nation of weenies.) If I were an entrepreneurial person, I would capitalize on this opportunity. I'm already out there every afternoon, watching 4 tree-climbing children. What's a few more? Though I must say, the Parks Dept. people have their hands on some purt-y fine climbing trees. I should know. If those trees are at a park, chances are, my kids have climbed them. Multiple times. I shudder to think at the multiples of $28 that we must now owe the City! Now, keep in mind, this is a 2 1/2 hour class that the city is running. If your little climber tends to lose interest after, say, 21 1/2 minutes, then this is not the class for you. Oh no. Keep on training him or her on your own trees, for, you know, *free* okay?

All righty then. Now that I've enlightened you with a thumb-sitting opportunity, and a tree-climbing opportunity (Let me know if you sign up for that. We may or may not be friends anymore.), I will move on to this week's Sweet Shot.
After Mom left, we headed to NC to visit our dear friends in Moravian Falls. Why was sweet Phoenix not roaming the mountains and excavating the hills? A dog. A friendly, energetic husky named Trooper, to be exact. But because his smiling, licking face and pointy teeth were even with Phoenix's face, it was not a match made in heaven. Oh no. Phoenix misunderstood his name and called him "Sherbert," and proceeded to avoid Sherbert for the next 3 days. By staying with us. Our joy was immense. Acres of apple hills, horse pastures and fresh air! A small lively boy's paradise! It was not to be. He passed up roaming around this:
 And this:
For this... arm's length to safety, from vicious boy-eating mountain dogs.
It was still sweet.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter tidings

This year we had to let Cole in on the news. He took it well, at first: "I know Santa and the leprechauns are real, but I draw the line at a giant bunny, hopping around the world leaving candy." Rick gave him a thumbs up, and some salve for his emotional wounds and said "You betcha Santa is real! He is more Real then Real!" or some such nonsense designed only to prolong the inevitable. It's quite a predicament we find ourselves in, you see. The boy turns 11 in a few weeks, starts middle school this fall, has been engaged in discussions of impending puberty - and still believes in every magical being to ever walk the earth. I amused my girlfriends by sharing Rick's comments on The Talk: "How do you talk about sex with a kid who still believes in the Easter Bunny??"
Well, mark that one off! Whew! Let it be known, the boy has drawn the line at a giant bunny! Only when forced, sure, but he dug it, folks. He was down with being Big. Riiiight. As long as he got his fair share of chocolate. This topic is to be continued, you know it.

In other news, Spring break will be laid to rest tonight, when we return to a normal bedtime and routine. It was filled with nonstop fun, and I did not wring any necks or make any dire threats. Things are smoothing out! Here are a few shots from Mom's visit, and our tea party, egg-decorating time:

 Of course the Bunnykins china made it's appearance

 My kids are talented... let me show you the artistic randomness...
 Eyelashes anyone??? The Easter sheriff is in town, too!
Phoenix made the hieroglyphic egg-men. 
 Wot? Bethany baked cupcakes? Mark the day!
Gigee and her sweeties

For now, Happy Easter - and may you find a peaceful moment today to reflect. We will take some quiet moments on the Meditation Trail nearby, and enjoy the last day of spring break. 
Meditation Trail with Gigee...