Thursday, September 18, 2014

Words of Wisdom for Myself


When you are frustrated beyond despair because you are working through another night of interrupted sleep and locked bathroom doors and two year old angsty meltdowns and an empty gallon of milk and no clean Wednesday undies and the third nuke on your tepid coffee and sibling couch pillow fighting matches that end in crying children and good maternal advice falling on deaf ears and empty roll of toilet paper and the 270th four year old Why question of the day and a ripped library book and bangs you tried to trim yourself...

Put Knox and Pursy in a pair of feetie pajamas and wrestle with them on the living room floor.

Instant heaven on earth.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

When Mommies and Daddies Love Each Other...

Last weekend Grant and I climbed on our bikes and rode down the street away from our house and children, and towards 36 hours of a getaway. My parents had arrived approximately 7 minutes earlier, and we were anxious to let them begin enjoying their grandchildren without us in the way. We hadn't had a night away in a while, Grant managed to land a Priceline deal for a swanky downtown hotel, and my parents happened to be free for the weekend. The planets aligned and we began anticipating our trip. The pictography that follows is (I believe) in chronological order and definitely only the moments that I wanted to pull out my phone and take a photo. The two hour PhotoHunt battle on the second floor of the most yinzer bar I have been in, lives on only in our mind and in the memory of the bearded bartender with the great tattoos who refused to make me a Moscow mule that wasn't made with fresh mint. Mutual respect.
Valet bike parking at the Renaissance

Amazing tacos at Seviche
Lazy morning coffee at 21st Century

Americano with cream

Canoodling Bikes in the Strip

Pickled Vegetables

Rum Punch and Mint Julep

Whiskey loving hipster

My Christmas List

Fellow Buccos Fans

Raise the Jolly Roger!

View of our hotel from across the river
Clemente Bridge from the River Trail


Things that are making me Happy

Movie Trailers on Hulu. There is something fantastically entertaining yet luxuriously non committal about a 2 minute preview. There are some really good movies coming soon... and some you can tell right away just showed you the montage of all the best parts. Save your time, the best line in the movie Are You Here is Owen Wilson's bit about friendship. ("Nobody believes in friendship. People talk about it, but that's the thing about friendship. It's a lot rarer than love, because there's nothing in it for anybody.") The line that made me want to watch the movie in the first place and then regret it soon after it started. Rotten Tomato gave it one tomato, just to validate my feelings. Other films I am looking forward to: The Theory of Everything (about Stephen Hawking's life and relationship with his wife that began before he developed motor neuron disease), This is Where I Leave You (film about a Jewish family sitting Shiva after the death of their father) and The Skeleton Twins (Will Forte and Kirsten Wiig as adult twins who haven't spoken in 10 years).

Grass Fed Yogurt. It is my delicious new food obsession. The flavor changes slightly depending on the season and where the cow was allowed to graze, which I find exciting and earthy. The farm we get ours from delivers once a week and I really look forward to Tuesdays. (did anyone else get the reminder that the world was running low on descriptors of urban foodies and thus needed grass fed yogurt to beef up the definition?) I also love when Pursy asks for her morning yogurt in a wine glass, which she calls "eating it fancy".

My Elliptical. Gym membership was costing us $50/month and my attendance was getting spotty due to involved morning routines for two babes we are trying to teach to start every day with making their beds and getting dressed. Is not at easy as it sounds. So I was scouting exercise equipment, and the machine I chose for its simplicity and compactness was $600. I was waiting patiently (or was forbidden to raid our savings account by my fascist spouse) and last week got an email from a neighbor who was selling hers. The exact model. Almost new. $200. I flashed my baby blue/greens and convinced Grant it was fiscally savvy and promised I would use it. I now greet the sunrise on the third floor with reruns of Top Chef on my tablet and my new toy humming my stride.

Knox Singing Emmylou Harris. At Target. Top of his lungs. From the front of the cart. An older gentleman came around the corner looking very perplexed and said "was your son just singing If I Needed You"? Oh, yes. That's my kid.

Book Club. Ten of us get together to discuss the selection of the month. It is high up there on the list of most narcissistic thing I have ever done, choosing women I liked immensely and had a suspicion wouldn't choose lousy books. We come from all different experiences with literature and I love the unabashed opinions of my girls. In order to be one of my favorite things that doesn't involve my favorite people (Grant, Pursy and Knox) you know it must be good. And my Book Club is.

Bike Riding around the City. Grant and I took a night away last weekend and biked from our East End neighborhood into downtown and back again, with rides to the North Side, the Strip District, and Lawrenceville. No paying for parking, no traffic, seeing shops and restaurants I would have driven right by in the car (on our bikes we could just pull over and check them out), and the added benefit of feeling like it was always right to eat or drink something. I have started biking to the hospital on my work days, riding to the neighborhood pub to meet friends in the evening, and making more conscious decisions about where to go and when. It feels good.

Brown Liquor. I love when the weather turns cooler, which means gin turns to bourbon. I invented a bourbon cocktail with peach juice and mint, which looks quite inviting on the rocks in a mason jar.

Knox's Construction Vehicles Puzzle. I found a 12 piece wooden Melissa and Doug puzzle at a consignment shop a few weeks ago, and Knox finally mastered it. He needed less and less help until just a few days ago- he put the whole thing together "all by myself!!!" He still calls us to come see every time he puts it together... he stands beside his completed puzzle with his hand outstretched, daring us not to be impressed.

What is making you happy this fall?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Preschool Day One

Purslane Claire

Tonight I tucked you in with your gajillion stuffed animal friends and after I prayed the blessing over you with my hand still on your forehead I whispered a reminder that tomorrow when you woke up, your first day of school would be officially here.

And it will! September 10th, a date we have had circled on our calendar for weeks now, ever since we got your official school schedule for the fall. Tomorrow will be a half day, a quarter day, I suppose since you are only in half day preschool. But you will be there long enough for me to snap a ton of phone camera pictures, help you find your cubby and make sure you meet up with Ian, who is the only person you know in your class. He will help you, he did three year old preschool and thus is a big stud.

And then I will walk out of the room and hope that the last four years where you and I have spent almost every waking moment together were enough to cement in your brain that you are MY daughter. Grant's and mine. And that means that you are loved beyond your biggest fears, supported beyond your hardest challenges, and believed in beyond your deepest doubts. Preschool isn't too early to begin practicing what you know.

We have raised you to think that other people matter. You are not the center of the universe, remember? So when you see that boy or girl sitting by themselves at snack time, go hang out with them. If you see a kid looking for the bathroom and you know where it is, go show them. Admire someone else's artwork. Tell another girl she looks like a princess, instead of asking her if she thinks you look like one. Talk to everyone, you never know who will end up being a friend.

Enjoy yourself so much. Your hours will be filled to the brim with painting and reading and singing and playing and building and learning. Preschool is going to be fabulous. You and your pink backpack with your name on the back are going to have adventures in rainbow colors.

You are going to be around new people doing new things. And I hate to tell you, but Knox and I aren't going to be sitting around the house all day waiting for you to come back... But the dinosaur museum won't be as noisy without you. And the water tables at the children's museum won't be as crazy without you. And I might start explaining to Knox how the fish flags in the parking lot turn direction when the wind blows, before I realize he didn't ask. That was always your question.

Being a stay at home parent probably means tomorrow is going to be harder for me then other parents who went back to work earlier or more hours. You and I have been together most hours of most days for four years, and I am going to miss having you around. You are the coolest girl I know and I would choose to hang out with you more then all the other girls any day of the week.

You are my daughter. I love you a tremendous amount. And I will be waiting for you every day to come home.

Now with that confidence, freely go out and care for others.

Happy Preschool, my Purslane Claire.