Saturday, April 19, 2008

Nice Day for a Picnic

It seems like Winter just won't end this year. Every day I wonder where the global warming I hear so much about is, and why can't we have some around here. So finally, we had a couple of nice, average temp for April days. Of course, they came in between a bunch of unseasonable cold and super windy days, but I am still so glad we had just a bit of sunshine. Today we celebrated the great weather by taking Isaac to the park for a picnic.


Isaac LOVED playing outside..
But it was a bit bright.....
What a cool dude!

Yep, he can stand all by himself! I can't wait for him to start walking. This is going to be such a fun summer!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

For all the Mommies....

I have to give my friend Misti credit for this post. She wrote a great blog today about being a mom, and some of the great things that we take for granted when we are just trying to get through the day with our kids. She referenced an article by Anna Quindlen that I have always loved, and so I wanted to re-post the article for everyone here. It makes the email rounds, so you have probably read it before, but I never get tired of it.

I actually read it for the first time shortly after Isaac was born. I had a pretty severe case of baby blues, my mom was in Europe, and I just knew that I was already the worlds worst mom. I was blessed with a beautiful, healthy child, who actually got to come HOME, and I felt helpless. I couldn't figure out how to get anything at all done while having a baby, didn't know how anyone else did it, and I was sure that every kind word and well meaning piece of advice I heard from everyone was really just them telling me what a bad mom I was. This article really helped me relax and enjoy the experience. I hope we all can. Here it is:

By Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author:
All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past. Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, have all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations --what they taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all. Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2. When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome.
To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China . Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.
Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the, "Remember-When- Mom-Did Hall of Fame." The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, "What did you get wrong?". (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?
But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less. Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life.
When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What the Crap!?

Since I am not working anymore and most of my work buddies aren't either and are looking at my blog, I am going to have to do some of our "work chat" here. I know this is a place for cute family stories and kid pictures, and I will get more of that up soon... but... I have to do this... I need an outlet!!!


So Michael Johns was voted off American Idol this week. WHAT THE CRAP?! Sorry for my language. I will calm down now.


I know he wasn't going to win the whole competition or anything, and I know that this week was not his best, but I can't believe that he is being voted off while the worlds biggest FAKE singer stays every week.


I am referring of course to Jason Castro.

I know, I know, I like "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" too, and I really don't mind hearing Jason sing it. It is nice. But, I am still not convinced that he has even a fraction of the talent of anyone else on that show right now. There are millions of other "musicians" just like Jason. He sounds to me like a typical guy who plays a guitar at open mike night at a coffee house or something. It's just no big deal, and I can't figure out why he is on American Idol.

Well, that is pretty much out of my system now. I feel much better. Just a couple more quick AI thoughts.

1. David Archuletta was my fav this week. I am a huge Robbie Williams fan so I loved that he sang "Angels" and I thought it was awesome.

2. I really want to hear Brooke White sing something by Natalie Merchant or Sara Mclachlan. I would just love to hear it. Ha! I am so 90's!

If you are watching AI this year, I want to hear what you think. Post your comments!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chopped

I decided to take the plunge today and chop all my hair off. Here it is:
It was a tough decision. I don't know why this is always such a scary move when you have long hair. It IS just hair, but it is really hard to do. I think the time was right though. I am trying to make a lot of personal changes, and this felt like a great way to start. I am pretty happy with it right now. I love the way it feels and the way it looks. I am sure it is going to really hit me when I wash it or try to put it in a pony tail. Then I am going to cry....