Sunday, September 27, 2009

For B.

A good friend of mine just lost her mom, and I feel her pain much more strongly than I would have had I not lost my own mom a few years back. For whatever reason it just seems to hit home harder. I know all about the pain that she will have to work through, the time she will spend celebrating the life of this lovely woman, and the heartache for losing her so very early. We are not young children, but losing your mom when you are mid-life is tough. Losing your mom or dad is tough period - no matter how old you are.

I don't know how many times I've wanted to pick up the phone and share something with my mom and couldn't. Or how many times I've snapped a picture that I thought she in particular would appreciate, and have wanted to send it to mom but couldn't. Or how many hours I've thought about what life in my house would be like if she were still around. Would she be proud of the woman and wife and mother that I've become? Would she be sad that we still lived so far away and she couldn't give her grand babies hugs and squeezes more often? Would my outlook on life be any different?

I guess the only thing that would change is that I would pick up the phone more often. I would send that picture more often. But I know that I am still making her proud. And I hope that as my friend goes forward in her life that she knows that her mom, even though she is not physically with her, is always in her heart. My mom is with me at every soccer game, every playgroup, and every school concert. She is there for the ups and the downs, and knowing that I had the chance to get to know and love her for all of those years makes it a little bit easier to not have her around. But honestly, I still miss her each and every day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cool Plate sorry though!

In the DC area you see all kinds of cool personalized license plates. But that in and of itself is a whole other post. I ran across a plate the other day that I just had to share - even though the content of the plate is so blatantly offensive:
So kudos to the clever person behind this creative plate. But dude - the Gators? Come on now. That's just sad.

(Now if we can just get them to win a game here and there I'd be happy!)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Calvin Ball

We all know who they are, but did you know that Calvin and Hobbes live in my house? Aside from the imaginary part I have two live action versions of Calvin and Hobbes here. Three actually, but you get the idea. If they aren't wrestling on the carpet, they are taking perfectly good games (cards, board games, general goofing around games, sports) and creating all kinds of new rules for them, a.k.a Calvinball. If you aren't familiar, check it out here.

Other kids' games are all such a bore!
They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It's never the same! It's always bizarre!
You don't need a team or a referee!
You know that it's great, 'cause it's named after me!
-The Calvinball Theme Song

Except in our house, in the time it took me to write this post, I had to get up TWICE and go downstairs to the basement to make sure that no one was dying. Seems that my Calvins and Hobbes have taken to torturing each other in various way. They regress from what could otherwise be a very nice game of Calvinball into something terrible and ugly. One of these day's they'll figure out that torturing your brother is not a sport...or at least I hope they will.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pokemon Cards

I figured at some point that the boys would either get bored with or outgrow their massive numbers of Pokemon cards. Some of Max's friends have moved on to bigger and better things, and there are new and more fun things to play with - like Bakugon. I was holding out hope that one day soon they would just be done. But no. They are not only playing with them regularly, but they are making up new games, exploring math and reading, and doing all kids of weird and fun things with them. They even made up their own video game that they play with them. So I guess I shouldn't complain too much - they are cheap and the cards are portable. So I really guess I should complain - until I see this:
and this: and even this:
Yes, my entire basement is covered with Pokemon cards. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


At some point it happens to the best of us - the fridge light burns out. And we dilly dally to replace it. And since it's so dark in there when we dig around, we tend not to notice (or ignore - I'll be honest here) the fact that there's no food in there. And the kids complain and grumble that they are hungry and that we don't have any food...blah, blah, blah. But, the light is still burnt out.
But we soon discover (after a mere three months in the house) that there's a light in the DRYER of all places. After literally two loads a day for the past two months, the light turned on and off every time and never ONCE did I suspect that such a thing even existed. So *PPPHHHTTTT* to you burnt out fridge light. The dryer has a light and it works.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Max's First U-9 Soccer Game

It was Max's First U-9 Travel game this past weekend, and low and behold I forgot my camera. Here's the one picture that I did take at the game:
Yeah, in case you couldn't figure it out here's the blurry one in the middle, you know, way across the field with the red jersey on. This is right before they started playing - my iPhone is cool but the camera is sucky when it comes to action shots so I had to grab the only sitting still shot I could. Anyway, while Max was playing Ian and Sam found a way to occupy themselves as well:
Yes, they were tailgating - 6 year old style. But in case you were wondering, Max really did wear a red jersey - and he did the uniform proud at the game! He was a blur of red on that field, and he settled right into a defensive position (sweeper for all those soccer players out there) and enjoyed the heck out of his first game with his new team. We were so proud of the way he played - and even though his team lost he really enjoyed it as well! Next weekend - TWO games!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sad, sad toes

So I still can't quite reach my feet (my back just won't take that kind of bending yet), and my toe nails are in a sad state of disrepair. They have gone unpainted for WEEKS now. Me, the one with the perfectly manicured blue/purple/pink (and now red!) toes has had nekked toes for about three weeks now. And there's no pedicure in my future, but there might need to be as I'm not sure how much longer I will be able to tolerate these toes:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Love these boys

They even share their Italian Ices with their little sister:

(And she LOVES those Italian Ices!)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

The day my world got smaller

It's an interesting day today. Not getting the paper and no longer watching the daily or nightly news I was only slightly aware of the date today. And this meant that I was completely unaware of the date's importance. I realized a short while ago that it was 9/11. And this only after reading the article about the Coast Guard storming down the Potomac and creating a stir in the DC area. In past years I've marked this day mostly by myself. Max was a wee one, and Ian and Sam weren't even born yet, so they can't really appreciate the sacrifices that were made by some that terrible day. nor do they really understand the implications of what happened. We drive past the Pentagon regularly, and we often talk about what happened there, but it isn't real to them.

To me it is still pretty frightening. Back in 2001 we didn't live in the DC area. We were solidly in Central Texas. Tom worked at UT Austin and I was a stay at home mom. But Tom travelled - to DC - pretty regularly. He was scheduled to fly to DC that very afternoon - 9/11. His boss was in the air when the terrorists struck and it took several hours for folks to hunt him up, and it took him a few days to get back home. I turned the TV on and saw the plane hit the tower - live - and I was completely beside myself. The I saw the towers fall, and my world got smaller. Tom was standing beside me safe and sound, but for me it instilled in me a fear of vulnerability. We have grown up in a country that is and has been basically free of war. War is something that happens elsewhere - not on our soil. Even though I grew up in the middle of a city with SEVEN military bases, I was never really struck by the idea that there were people dying for our country. It just wasn't real to me - even on Sept 10, 2001 it wasn't real. The hurricanes that hit South Texas, now those were scary. But terrorists? Not so much.

But early that morning my idea of safe came to a screeching halt. I suddenly felt vulnerable. I watched with terror as some unknown entity took control of these massive airplanes full of folks that I could have know, and turned them towards buildings full of people, some of whom I also might have known. I was gasping for an logic in this - but there was none. We were attacked by terrorists in our own front yard, and the world got a bit smaller for me. It wasn't me watching images of massacres in other countries. It wasn't me reading about genocide in a place that was thousands of miles away. It was me watching some people that hated us so much that they were determined to kill as many of us at home as possible. The fear that surfaced in me was a complete surprise. Later I would be able to process what had just happened, but at that exact moment I grabbed my one year old and held him tightly. I hunted up my husband, who was packing his bag to catch a plane to DC, and I begged him not only to no get on the plane, but also not to go to work. I was utterly freaked out. Tom held me close and of course, didn't go anywhere. It took me several weeks to even begin to process what had happened. Some people, especially those in the military and law enforcement, have a better grasp on the world outside their doors. I did not.

I'm finally in a place where looking back isn't so scary, and there's no daily fear that something terrible will happen. I carried that around with me for a very long time. I was nervous every time Tom got on a plane, which he did shortly after they opened up the skies again, and I waited for him to walk in the door every single time he flew. I couldn't imagine anything like that happening again, but I could never have imagined it happening in the first place.

So, thank you to all the men and women who gave their lives in 9/11. I hope that everyone who lost someone in 9/11 has been able to find some peace in their passing. Thank you to all of the thousands of people who stepped up to help after 9/11 in all kinds of capacities all over the country, and all over the world. And I hope that we never do forget what happened that day, but along with the tragedies, I want to remember the weeks and months after - the generosity, caring, and compassion that we saw from people from all walks of life.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

Turning 37

So I completely glossed over the fact that I had a birthday and I turned one year older. But, in an attempt to age gracefully rather than fight it, I guess it's best to show you my cake and candles IN ALL THEIR BLAZING GLORY. Thanks dear, and thanks to you too Charity - I know you had to help Tom count candles...
And yes, Lucy does look a little worried there. She should be - do you SEE how many candles they put on there???!!!

Meeting the teachers

It's an annual ritual that we've jumped right into again this year. We met the boys' teachers today, and as it turns out two were married / changed their names over the summer so we know them already, one was new, and the last one we already knew. It's a good crop of teachers, and what's even more exciting is that it looks like it's a good crop of kids as well in all the classes. And that's a feat coming from a school that has tons of different class set ups. This year all three boys are in Spanish Immersion classes that are fanning out. This means that out of their English class (where they do reading, social studies, and something else I can't remember at the moment) seven kids go to their Spanish class. Then an additional seven kids come from another English class, and so on until the Spanish class is formed. (They do science and math in their Spanish class.) Anyway, looks like a banner year, and even after my big miscue, which will end up making more work for me, we're off to a good start. We actually don't start school until next Tuesday, but in my mind we are already there!