4.28.2008

to be injested inaccurately

Day One. I think it would be best to think of each day like I am on a panel for an awards ceremony. None are going to have the exact wish list, although every single one would be awesome to live in. So the awards go to........

1) Best curb appeal: That one with the green grass in front with a walking path up to the front door with a grip of palm trees. More people should have grass in Arizona, it would make for less of a parched impression.

2) Favorite Floor Plan: Open. Huge kitchen open to huge family room without the kitchen table getting in the way. Why is this so hard to design in a home?

3) Ugliest outside paint: Blue

4) Most random discovery: the parlor doors between the master bathroom and master bedroom. If only I brought the camera in for that one! I guess you could act out that Death Cab for Cutie song every night before going to bed. Crashing through the parlor doors what was your first reaction? I'll tell you mine..........

5) Biggest Surprise: The owners grieving over a death in the family. Not a good day to show the home, afterall.

Is is sick to wonder if the person died in the home?

6) Best Architecture: The Calex Home that looks like a castle. Very burly-looking homes. Left strongest impression and the desire to eat large chicken legs like a cave man every night for dinner. And drink from thick gobblets filled to the brim with dark grape juice. Barefoot, of course, with red cloaks on that include some white fuzzy trim. I think Mike will like this one the best. And Zane would love the friend next door who is also three. Evan would love getting out of that blasted carseat even if it meant crawling on nails.

7) Best Address: Bernie Street. Our first party would be called Weekend At Bernie's. Wear dark sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt. The person who can pretend to be dead the best wins a prize. We would have this theme for every party and it would never get old.

8) Runner-up for Best Address: Lovebird Lane. How cute would it be to tell future baby #3 he or she was made on Lovebird Lane? Sure beats Greenwood and Minturn, those don't tell a very cute story.

9) Most Disappointing: The home I actually featured in a prior post, that pretty yellow one. Lame floor plan, cheap looking carpet and the stucco on the spec homes was crumbling off. I was afraid to close the door too hard for fear the front of the home would fall off.

4.27.2008

a life of arctic sounds on repeat

14 hours is a long drive inside a car.


Tomorrow I begin my adventure house hunting for the right home for my family. Mike has to work each day (locally) while the baby and I bust out as many homes on our list as we have energy for. At the end of the week he will be able to view my final selection so we can get us a home. Our realtor is most excellent, family friend. Hours have been spent on MLS and Builders' sites looking at photos and descriptions. It's like we have been cramming for a test. Only instead of a grade we get this place to live and grow in. Make some friends in, invite family over, make memories, maybe have some more babies in, laugh in, work hard in, teach my kids in. A home is an important place. And although I know as long as it's safe and clean, what goes on inside of it is way more important than what it looks like, I am still nervous of picking the wrong one. Even though that doesn't mean a meteor will crash into it. It's just a space to put our stuff and keep us cool from the freaking heat. Why does it feel so scary?

It's a strange feeling, I don't want to let any of them down. I know ideally what we are looking for and it's a super nice time to be on the buying end of things. I just don't want to be emotionally turned off from a home that is the right layout and overlook something important. Or even better, totally get mixed up and write down the correct notes about the incorrect home and lose the connections in my mind after looking at so many back to back. There is a reason, after all, I chose a career dealing with warm fuzzies (HR) and not rocket science (NASA).

I know what we want and there are things we will certainly learn as it will be our first experience buying a home. It's par for the course. I just hope those mistakes won't be too huge, like a school district that falls apart and turns the children into gang bangers. Or the lot was built on a cemetary like the movie Poltergeist. ZANE GO TO THE LIGHT! Or move in thinking it's all dandy only to find dozens of scorpions stinging my children. Or bats in the attic, you know you saw that show and how the lady went blind from the air quality. The Money Pit, who doesn't recall that one?!

Seriously, though, I have my realitor and tools of advice and research on neighborhoods, schools, crime rates, sex offenders, inspection, etc. in addition to our family wish list for our price range and it will work out more smoothly than I imagine. It's such a funny feeling going into an experience for the first time. You gather up all the conversations together from those whom have done this before, but there are still gaps in understanding of what it's going to be like because everyone has a different experience. Just like going into marriage or parenting, it's so different depending on a gazillion variables that could apply.

No matter what it will rock to have my own parking place for our cars, a garbage disposal, dishwasher, no bathroom next to the kitchen sink, and a yard. Brooklyn does that to a girl. The rest is just butter.

4.24.2008

Mitzie's head just did the splits

In 4th grade I would walk to school with some other kids on my block. Danielle was sort of nerdy and her mom had a giant red E in the window. I didn't know what it meant, something about if there was an emergency kids could go to her house and she could help them. She was a mean mom and I didn't like her. It made me not want to stop by her house on the way to school to walk with Danielle, but I was new so I still stopped by so I wouldn't be alone. Until I was late too many times then she would leave without me. But I was secretly happy. Maybe that's where my habit for being late was birthed?

So we had this 4th grade talent show and I was all set to be early because my act was going to be the best. The music teacher said we could come early and make sure the tape worked and volume, etc. Danielle was maybe going to do something, too, but I don't remember what. Maybe she was the helper putting my tape in for me? I was so excited, I had experience taking dance class and performing with my dance class for old folks in retirement homes so I knew I would be the best. I had practiced my lip sync routine and dance moves in my room and I was so pleased with my act. I have no recollection of the outfit I pulled together. I am scared to think of what I put on. I hope it wasn't dance clothes. I am sure if it was I planned to wear it all day without a switch of normal clothes. Such is the life of the latch-key kid.

I was early. Danielle was there with me. I was bursting with excitement to take the stage for my debut solo. The tape was in, I took my place. The dance teacher was arranging chairs before the class arrived, letting me have free range of the floor. I don't think anyone else was in the room. Within 2 minutes she asked me to stop the music and told me I couldn't play that song in school. I had no idea what she was talking about. I had recorded it from the radio and it was a catchy tune. I never really listened to the lyrics. I was so mad. She had no idea how long I worked on my moves and lip synced this song into my bedroom mirror.

Then I got home and Danielle's mom called my mom to tell her I went to school with a lot of make-up on (eye liner and blue eye shadow to be exact) and she wanted to make sure my mom knew about it. My mom was annoyed she was so pissy about it to her on the phone. She knew there was a reason for it, I told her about the talent show. But I don't think I told her I never got to do my act.

I just remembered this for the first time since that day and laughed out loud. The song I was trying to perform in the 4th grade talent show was Julie Brown's Everybody Run the Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun.

If you haven't heard the song before, listen here. Or read the lyrics here.

Dude, why did I have to be born so awesome?

hungry like the wolf

So house hunting in Arizona..... in this market.......after living in two of the more costly states possible.....sort of feels like I am stealing.

We are giving ourselves one week to hunt and buy. This is a crazy process, narrowing our search and determining our current plus future needs. Caring about things we never thought much about before like school districts, crime rates, floor plans, resale value, etc. It's like being engaged times 158, making too many decisions all at once and trying to get him to agree with everything I want, especially the pony.

This isn't going to be the home we buy, but isn't it awesome? I would totally wear a single braid on that porch and summon the children in for dinner by ringing a triangle.

*

But would I still love this home if I went to see it in person and it was lined up with 65 variations of this same perfect home? Because it's basically unavoidable in Unpainted Arizona. And that's alright by me. I am just sayin. Originality is sparse with homes there and I have to remember that or none will do.

4.23.2008

are you gonna cruise the miracle mile

It was never really a big deal to me that my father was not in my life. I didn't know anything different. I knew it wasn't the norm, but I rarely thought about it. Two things always brought it to my mind that I do recall.

1) The class roll. Never fail, every single year on the first day of school the teacher would read the full name of the person, glance at the parent's name, and ask if you went by a nickname so he or she could write it into the roll. I was always excited to say "present!" instead "here". It always made the whole class laugh. But then the teacher would ruin it because he or she would quiz me in front of a room full of new peers why my mother and I had a different last name. Like it was a trick I was playing or a game. I got to announce every year how my parents were divorced and my mom is married to someone with a different last name. Then there was the awkward silence where they put the situation together and you knew they felt sad for me. But it mad me mad cos it was really no big deal. Not that it's something you want to shout across the room all the time, but then the teacher kind of made it a big deal. I always wanted to stand on my chair and reassure the room really I am alright, it's all I have ever known. He's an asshole anyway and I am pretty certain we are better off without him. Can we continue with the roll please, you stopped at M.

It never really came up again in school until later when I made friends. Some would secretly confide in me that their parents were divorced. It wasn't such a common thing in the early 80s. They asked if I saw my dad every summer like they did. I knew they wanted to commiserate. I would reply 'no, I don't really talk to him at all' and then the conversation would end and we would climb on the monkey bars. Or some would tell me I was lucky that way and I wondered why. I wanted to hear their story. That's about as long as I would think about it. It wasn't so complicated to me as a kid the way adults might have thought it was.

2) The Billy Joel cassette tape my mother had always reminded me he was out there somewhere. Sometimes it would catch my eye sitting under the family television with the other tapes, almost like a red flag. It was the one where he is about to throw a rock through the windows. I wondered if that was how he felt about not knowing me and I hoped he missed us. I might have wondered what he looked like, how I was like him, what he liked to eat, what he liked to watch on t.v. But I didn't wonder for very long. It was more of a curiosity rather than sadness. I just hoped that curiosity was matched where ever he was.

*

As an adult when I take time to really listen to Billy Joel I have grown to appreciate him as one of the more amazing musicians I have ever heard. I would like to think I base that opinion on trained ears that have listened to a lot of music over the years. He hits so many ranges with his voice and vivid imagery with his lyrics. I feel like I am roaming around the Met or Louvre while I listen to him, it's like being exposed to a masterpiece. I love to hear him sing about New York, being in love, rock star life, anything. I wish I had listened to that cassette so long ago, I was really missing out. The dude can rock out.

*

As a young adult I had the opportunity to meet my father. There is a lot I can write about that, but today is not that day. I guess to summarize I would say it was a necessary chapter to write in my life, meeting him, but also an important confirmation that my mother made the correct choice. Which I never doubted, but it was cleansing to my soul to know that for myself. My wonder was fulfilled, it wasn't until that gap in my heart was filled that I knew there was a void. And the void wasn't him, it was me having the ability to decide for myself if I wanted him in ym life or not. And you know, I was better off without him and peacefully fine even still. His absence is just on my own terms now. Not his.

*

Driving down a California Highway this week listening to Billy Joel I realized I had been thinking in my head as a girl that he would be this perfect image I created in my mind. That he would communicate perfectly, say the right words, act the right way, be who I wanted him to be. And he wasn't. I wanted him to be a masterpiece like the one I listened to called Billy Joel. I might have even been surprised he didn't look more like him.

Yesterday I thought about my boys and what to say when they ask about him. Tears streamed down my face as I realized I want to teach them to love people in this life. Even when they are imperfect. Even when they disappoint. Even when they are total assholes. And I am the person to be their example. The same way I will teach them to tie their shoes by watching my hands, I will show them how to love even ones that might not be the easiest to love.

*
And what does that look like? Still sorting that out in my head, but being cautious about expectations (make them none) and purity in heart.

4.18.2008

ch ch ch ch changes


We are moving to Arizona this summer!

Although the summers are a torcher chamber of welding tools blasting your eye balls into dry sockets, I am incredibly excited. For several reasons. Family, of course, in adition to the ability to house hunt for homes built well after the date of 1928.

After living in NY and CA, I have had to retrain my brain on what the cost of living looks like there. It is a huge difference. The kind that doesn't make a lot of sense to read about because it's the difference between that bathroom in Brooklyn, the one that was in the kitchen. The one that hit the tub when you opened the door and your shoulders would touch the walls when you would pop a squat. That one that had a heating pole (?) that would burn the hell out of your back when you washed your hands in the sink that was built for a midget. And this was actually a GOOD Brooklyn apartment because the floors and paint job were new. And by paint job I totally mean it was coat # 4,624 and always covered wires, part of the window - sometimes sealing it shut forever, and electrical outlets.

When considering a home in CA when we first moved here I looked at a place in the price range we are currently seeking. It was basically an apartment with two rooms, no central air (?), no space for a washer and dryer, and did I mention it was an apartment? Every single wall was attached to someone else's home.

While I still have pangs of mourning over letting go of New York and I will forever hold a place in my happy heart for California's weather and beauty, I am thoroughly pleased to be going to my homeland. It's going to be dusty. It's going to be hot. It's also going to be exactly what we want for us and our boys and our extended loved ones. Oh yeah, the friends there are awesome, too, I can't forget them!

I can't wait to find our own home, plant my own tree, paint my own walls, and invite as many family members as we can cram into our own space for some good old fashioned desert dwelling times.

4.15.2008

grosser than gross

My sister and I were so bored during the summers with nothing to do in the heat of the Arizona desert. School was out, swimming was no longer attractive. Watching soaps in our jammies was pretty much how a great day went. Always preceeded with a healthy dose of The Price is Right while pushing the German Sheppard away. He had a broken tail and was rather pesky, but he had a killer name: Spike.

Sometimes we would get crazy and cook something daring. Something besides nachos with cheese piled to the ceiling. Sometimes I would make blueberry muffins from the box. Once or twice my sister would make giant omelets with everything you could imagine folded into the spongy egg. It always smelled so good, but after two bites I would remember how much the texture of spongy cooked egg made my throat want to close up forever. In order to not offend, I took a break from my 15 egg omelet, hoping I might suddenly like that texture at the next commercial break.

I went back for more with my sister proudly trailing behind to hear about how delicious her masterpiece would be by now. We both stopped dead in our tracks when we saw the plate completely empty. It took us both a few minutes to realize the dog was dry heaving below the kitchen table.

I don't know what went through her mind, but in mine I was racing to remember what was in the omelet and if we needed to call the vet. Then I was thinking about how much I disliked that spongy egg and now it was going to be all over the floor and I didn't know if I could clean it up without tossing my own cookies. But I knew it was my fault for leaving the food on the table for the dog to get, I was secretly hoping my sister would save me from the clean up, even though I should be the one to do it. And then I realize I would never be able to eat eggs again.

As we stood speechless watching the dog finally spew forth the goods, one of us went to get paper towels. Before one sheet could be torn, we heard the sound of lapping up. The dog was happily eating its vomit. You will never know the relief in my heart to see the puker cleaning its own puke. I was so happy to not have to clean it that I wasn't even grossed out. Good dog, Spike. We left him to his (second) brunch and returned to our soaps without even discussing it.

*

I scrub the baby's bile (orange, green, white) from the carpet as often as I did when I was potty training Zane. So when I hear the brewing of a good spit-up I naturally think of another interruption to get down and scrub or another opportunity to change my colorfully drenched clothing.

So when I hear little slurping and the smacking of lips after the baby eats his own spit-up in his mouth I can't even be grossed out about it. Cos it's one less thing I have to clean up. Good boy, Evan.

4.13.2008

Nettie


Nettie turned 100 years old in August. I was really hoping Evan would be born on her birthday. I planned to take a photo of them together, what contrast that would be! He is seven months old and almost every month I have gone to visit her, but I have still not brought him. This month he was sick, prior months he was sleeping at the time I planned to see her.
Nettie lives with her daughter, Fern, who does most of the talking at our visits. I love them both. Nettie loves to crochet, she cannot do it as well as she used to and that disappoints her. She misses being able to read and quilt, passions of hers she is no longer able to do. When I began to visit her several months ago she did not look so different month to month. She always has a smile and bright eyes with vibrant life peeking out of her sunken face. She is so happy and loves my visits. She is looking very different now as the months go by, as if years pass in the short space of 30-odd days.
That first visit she showed me a little spot of skin cancer behind her ear. She said there is nothing the doctors can do about it. They told her that the cancer would not be the thing that would cause her to die. Treatment would not be possible for a woman of her age. Each month it is spreading and bleeding; leaving blackish scabs on the side of her face. It twists my stomach that I am sitting in front of someone who has cancer, that I can see it spreading, and that I can do little about it. And that someday (probably not far from now) she will pass on and her frail body will be all done with this mortal life. But I cannot do anything about it. I can't make her younger, give her hands the ability to sew again nor provide strength in her eyes to read again.

I love my visits with Nettie. I always drive away wondering if she will be there next month. I like to bring her cupcakes with sprinkles like it is her birthday every month. Because when you are 100 every day is a big deal.

4.11.2008

girls girls girls

I recently shopped for two friends expecting baby girls and found myself creating my Girl Clothing Rules on the fly. It was not nearly as complicated as my Boy Clothing Rules. Many stores I looked through had several options; not the case when my boys need threads. Here are my findings for girl stuff:

1) Janie and Jack: Most of the items in this store can be found with high quality fabric and unique design with the perfect blend of colors and timeless styles. I do not recommend anything be purchased at full price as they always have an excellent sales rack. 2) Baby Gap: I had a hard time accepting the love of baby gap products, I made fun of gap shoppers before I had kids. But I have become a believer. The quality, soft fabrics and mostly normal color schemes. Most importantly, their stuff holds up for multiple children! Of all the clothing that has made it through Zane, his cousin Carter, and now Evan I would say the best looking stuff is from Baby Gap. And they also have excellent sale prices, but you have to work at it and check often to get basics and stock up on bigger sizes whenever you can.

4.10.2008

cube life

Although it's odd, I enjoy remembering random people or experiences that pop into my head for no reason at all. It's like I have a menu in my head with a section for the memory de jour- will it be my sister's former love for The Monkees or that rainy day in the suburbs of Illinois? Some thoughts float on the surface for fun and others more deep and surreal, almost taking over my mind like a thick haze.

Today's is not so serious. It's my first cube neighbor in my first office job. I worked the full time shift from noon to 9pm. We were collections reps at a call center for a bank. The team I joined was comprised of quite a variety of personalities and backgrounds. I was the youngest, just starting out at ASU. I remember almost every person on that team.

The cube behind me was empty and the person that shared my cube wall to the left worked mornings so we didn't cross paths often. To the right of me was the break room. D. Lovejoy sat in front of me. What a perfect last name! I secretly wished he had an Irish accent. He didn't. We worked the same shift.

D. was in his late thirties. He was a man of little expression. He had this huge insulated cup on his desk he used to refill with water every single day. He carefully hung policies up in his cube with thumb tacks. He spoke quietly and never raised his voice. He had a thin, blonde mullet with a part in the middle and wore pants that were about 10 years too small for him. It was the first time I had seen a man with hips like a woman. Every time he would return to his cube to sit, I wondered if he was uncomfortable. His dress shirts were normally thin, if he were a hairy dude I would have been able to tell. Sometimes he would have on the blue button-up with a white collar and white cuffs. That was my least favortie shirt of his. The sleeves were normally too short. He was a nice guy, I really wanted to give him a make-over, but then he wouldn't be D. Lovejoy.

He wasn't so great at collecting money from cardholders, he was too soft. He would never be a star on the team. I wondered if he wanted to be or if he was just happy being the standard Joe Collector with almost below average productivity.

He once told me I had really good posture. Then he turned into his computer and took another call. I loved to hear about his daughter and wife, he would smile so sweetly when he spoke of them. Those were the few times his face escaped the constant shade of neutral. We had a potluck once (my all-time favorite days) and he brought his family's leftover spaghetti. It was about 1 cup worth of broken, cooked noodles mixed with a little sauce to share with a 14 person team. I felt bad for him, either he totally forgot about the potluck or they were just really poor and that was all he could offer. It's all good D. Lovejoy, I got your back. We are cubicle buddies.

I was the only one who ate the spaghetti. Later people on the team joked that it must have been 2 weeks old because not even D. Lovejoy ate any of it.

The best memory of D. Lovejoy was somehow the team was talking about people being flexible, you know regular circus lingo, and he suddenly stood up in the middle of the row and raised his leg up to his head with a completely straight face. Like it was no big deal, people in small pants do the splits in the standing position all the time, in the middle of the afternoon, in front of people, at work.

I had a dream last month that I went back to visit the call center. In my dream D. Lovejoy came out of a large office. In the dream I asked what he was doing and he told me he was a senior manager in the Fraud Department and that it turned out to be a much better job fit for him. It was sort of like the end of Raising Arizona when he has that dream there are all those kids are coming to the table and they are holding hands and it's all perfect. The movie ends and you want to know what happens next, you want so badly for the happy ending.

4.09.2008

that's too bad

It's not like I am all on the cutting edge of fashion. Or that I care muchly about how I fix my hair on a daily basis. But on occasion I wonder if a single, long braid would be wrong. Is is like grown-ups wearing overalls? Or can it be cute just for running errands and such.

Then they go and post coverage of a polygamist raid and the braid officially looks bad to me and I land with a giant NO.

4.08.2008

she blinded me with science

It's ridiculous to me that I don't learn my own lessons until I try walking through the glass door 694 times until I see how much easier it is to just open it and walk through it. If I do not begin to prep dinner by 4:30pm, all hell breaks loose. And then I am surprisingly caught off guard that it is all unraveling at my feet.

By 5pm I came to the realization oh crap the people need to eat food again! As I bust out all the ingredients as quickly as possible, usually slicing a finger on the sharp edge of a cabinet frame or banging my head on the pantry door, the baby begins to whine. The preschooler is occupied with play-doh at the kitchen table so as to not crush his brother's head or body by trying to "hug" him.

It is always turns into this kind of evening on the day I decided to let the dishes go and play with the kids instead. Sounded like a good idea at the time, but now the baby is screaming, I am digging through piles of old dishes so I can scrape last night's dinner out of the measuring cup (why do I still only have ONE measuring cup?). I shove and bargain for counter space every direction I turn as the crusty cereal bowls and dirty griddle mock me.

I feed the baby two bites, then consult with the recipe again. Give another two bites to baby, then I begin to conduct clean-up instructions for the play-doh massacre and there goes the phone ringing. Before I can think to check my cel phone I try to guess how many hours late Mike is going to be home, I find the clean-up committee leaving another pretty yellow stream for me in the bathroom. My teeth begin to grind and then laundry buzzards ring into the air like a shot gun at a race, simultaneously. Pick us! Stop what you are doing and tend to your washer and dryer! My timing is getting more and more off track, the monkey gets a banana as dinner is not happening as quickly as needed. It's a 16 piece band and I am in charge of every instrument, showing up rather late for the performance.

I envision Mike walking onto the set of a western movie post shoot-out. It looks as though the baby was a victim of an orange paint bomb. His brother's finger nails are embedded with blue, even jammed into cuticles and wedged between teeth despite his unconvincing attempt at telling us he did not eat the play-doh. I have several layers of regurgitated baby food crusted into various patterns on my shirt. My hair is pulled out of my pony tail, most of is has been yanked out earlier by tiny hands and strands are heading every direction. The crinkle in my forehead is most pronounced. I am oh-so eligible for the hottest pin-up photo shoot imaginable, even making the top ten MILF list.

....so Mike gets home on time and that surprise fills me with one of the best smiles of the day. And although my lack of preparedness for the needs of my family in the evening doesn't change the downward spiral of negative behavior the rest of the evening, I can try and learn to do better. And remember how much better we all do with routine and schedule.

I imagined this is how every night would be once I had two children. The funny thing is, this type of night is actually the anomaly. So when going to sleep tonight, I can spend more time reflecting on some really awesome parts of the day. Like Evan's first forward crawl. And my friend who is a single mom and the job offer she got that will finally provide a regular schedule and sufficient paycheck for her and her son. And Zane reading new words in a book all by himself. And talking to one of my favorite friends, laughing together. And having all of our laundry clean and folded in record time! A day is a day, with it's good and bad parts.

4.06.2008

post secret

When I became a Mormon and learned about this thing called Conference where modern day Apostles and the Prophet (among others leaders) speak to provide guidance, I was a little bit confused that the rest of the non-Mormon world didn't know when it would be on so they could hear, too. I really think it should be more widely advertised even for those who don't believe exactly this. It is never a bad idea to listen to inspired advice.

So World, although my little site doesn't reach the millions who might like to hear about thoughtful stories and meaningful testimonies, I can pretend I am pulling along the banner at the end of a plane flying in the sky to tell you about Conference. It's on right now and again at 1pm (MDT). You are invited, too.

4.05.2008

Hickory Smoked Almonds


The first Farmer's Market I ever went to was in Pinetop, AZ and it was more of a lame craft fair, but somehow farmers, crafters, and quilters united to made it a combo selling frenzy. I bought nothing. It was the Sabbath. But I ate lots of the Kettle Corn everyone else purchased and it tasted sinfully delicious.

The next one was years later in New York. The grounds of the World Trade Center (pre-tragedy) during spring was like a carnival, minus the rides and plus better entertainment. Live bands would play during lunch time and people would take looooong lunch breaks and eat on the steps. You could buy anything and everything from people that had traveled from all over the place to sell their goods. It didn't matter if it was a deal or not, it was just such a welcome change to cold and concrete you wanted to support the lives of all these people bringing fresh, edible vegetation and color to the grey cement world of downtown Manhattan.

Today I went to the Danville Farmer's Market. I remembered how my favorite thing to see is jars of things lined up. I have this urge to run past the jars and run my hand across them like a kid running next to a chain link fence with a stick. I enjoyed all the samples, something I have not experienced in the past. The scent of strawberries and that kettle corn lingered in the air around the corner of every tent. I propose that when they close up shop at 2pm they should gather all the strawberries into a giant baby pool and let people get naked and roll around in them, squishing that sweet smell until it's melted into our pores. I'll even pay for the damaged goods myself.

I got, of course, zero fresh items of produce because why get produce at a farmer's market when you can get Jalapeno Chutney and Cherry Pie? I guess I somehow decided I needed green onions (?), but I have no idea why.


my goods: Pumpkin Paratha, Paratha Dip, Jalapeno Chutney, Chile and Lime Almonds, Hickory Smoked Almonds, She's My Cherry Pie, Kettle Korn, Green Onions.

4.04.2008

evan at seven

i love the gap between your top teeth. i love how i could park a bus between them. and how they will never be this far apart again.

i love this new squealing (really!) that probably drives anyone that isn't your mother or father insane. especially when i am on the phone. oh that sound, yeah everything is alright. it's just this pterodactyl we have flying around the house. no big deal- keep talking.

i love that you rip juicy ones all the time, but don't know that it's funny yet.

i love how your arms and legs are in constant motion. as if you are treading water during every waking moment. and then when it's diaper changing time you act like you are drowning. you love these arms and legs of yours and can't get enough practice using them.

i love the way you look at your brother and move your whole body the best way you know how to try and get closer to him.

i love that baby spoons are no longer so shallow. and that you (ultimatley) eat the food i repeatedly scrape off of your face.

i love how you are a silent partner on the go. in stores, in the car, at church, in the jogger. you are so portable and easy going in public.

i love that your poo is no longer yellow seeds. or liquid.

i love that you think your brother is the most hilarious in your world.

i love it when you rest your head on my shoulder for a few seconds even when you are wide awake.

i love how the morning sunlight makes your eyes explode with sparkling blue.

i love it that you have my nose.

i love that you sleep like a log.

i love the way you will peek around something to see me and then grin.

i love the way you smile at strangers, how happy you make people feel just by being there.

i love that your goopy eye is finally all better.

i love your laugh most of all.


i hope your seventh month birthday (tomorrow)

fulfills your wildest dreams.

4.01.2008

tinker

....Had a lesson on Sunday about good, better, best choices. How to spend your time by making best choices. I feel in the swing of things for the most part, but every week something drops. Good meals hit the table, but laundry is piled up. Or I am on top of the laundry, but the t.v. has been on too much, not enough outside/ kid play time. I make a best choice in one area and another lags too much.

It's like the way we all have discretionary income in our budgets, everyone has a different dollar amount some big and some small, but we still get to control how we spend that amount and plan it. But if it's not planned it usually (in my experience) gets spent on things are not the priority.

That's what is happening with my discretionary time week over week. The priorities I want to happen are finding a shortage of time cos I am wasting this valuable commodity on things I have not planned. Not bad things, I just need to plan this time more wisely so I can benefit myself and family and household better and not feel like I wake up and jump into a tornado of a day carrying me from task to task without direction. I want better control. More routine and schedule. I want to have a day where I know what I think about and what to ignore. But the flexibility to have fun opportunities happen as well. Just not the great accomplishments I want to simply be happenstance.

April is my month for planning best. FHE assignments and kits, Food Storage, fun kid outings, cleaning and laundry schedule, date nights, visiting teaching, girls night out, family vacation for the summer, reading schedule for self and with kids.

girl friend

I got to meet up with a friend last night I used to work with in New York as she was in town briefly for business. We were peers when we worked together years ago. We would shop together after work, go for lunch, and chit chat about our lives like old friends. We lived through sepetember eleventh together. I was across the street when it happened, she was in the big black building next to it (the Deutche Bank building, which was badly damaged from the collapse and essentially condemned). I will never forget taking the train to ground zero during a lunch break for the first time, both of us, since it all happened. I think it took us several weeks, maybe months before we wanted to see it. We stood speechless while workers with construction trucks cleared layers and layers of rubble; much I imagine was filled with the dust from human bodies, plane parts, office materials, and walls. I never felt so grateful to be alive and before I could think I threw my arms around her thin body with tears in my eyes and told her I was so glad she got out of that building alive. She was still immovable and frozen, she had a much closer possibility of death than I did. A much different experience downtown that day. I understood her thoughts, she didn't have to say a word.

It had been about 4 years since I last saw her, long before I became a mother. The title under her name in the email said Director and I couldn't feel more proud to know her and felt eager to congratulate her on such an accomplishment. Because I know the work it must take to get that title. I looked up at that HR ladder for many years aiming for such goals for my future. I remember hearing about a home she bought and I couldn't wait to ask her about it.

As I drove across the Bay Bridge to meet her at San Francisco International Airport, I thought about how different our lives are and what we would talk about over dinner. Would I blather about motherhood and offer all the secret details no one talks about? See this (pulling a nursing pad from my purse) it looks like a coaster, right? I have to wear these in my bra! And the placenta, Mike told me it looks like ground beef. This second time around having a baby, I actually love it and spit up doesn't piss me off anymore, it's just sort of expected. I had a great day at the gardens today, we played outside for four hours! When summing up motherhood in my head, I couldn't figure out how to bring her up to speed on the whole experience in such a short amount of time. The highs and lows and everything between. I pass the city of colorful houses stacked like pretty rows of dominos. The water glistens and the sun is going down. Every direction I look is like a postcard picture.

I got there early and it was like we never skipped a beat. We conversed freely and carelessly with laughter and history and future. It was so fun to see her again and feel young again. How odd that 4-5 years ago would feel so young, but that's the best way to explain the feeling of reflecting together on the experiences life has given us since then. Who knew we still had some changes and growing up to do?

The lights on the bridge do not impress me, I miss New York bridges. That Verrazano at night always stole my heart. I wonder about the career I let go of and what the title under my own name would be by now. Then I smile at my intentional decisions I have made for my own life. I can't wait to snuggle my newest baby waiting for me at home so I can cuddle and nurse him into a dreamy slumber. I hope she comes to visit again. I didn't get a chance to tell her how much I love my new job. And I want to hear more about her awesome life, too.
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