of falling in love

(I tried to do the moonwalk in this picture just for you)
I did fall in love with this place The Dump recently. Amazing art and original furniture pieces. I could do 15 blog posts just on their stuff. Love it so. Will return and make many purchases. Just after we take over the streets of Toyko in my favorite shoes. Do you think these puppies will hold up with all the walking? Mt. Fuji? Karaoke? Harajuku? Roppongi Art Triangle? Sumida-Gawa River? Onsen? Sushi? I am thinking of a fun photo project involving all we do and my lovely shoes while we are there.

I had an 'is this chicken or tuna, it says chicken of the sea' moment with Mike this week. I told him I was SO excited to drink Fiji (Fuji?) water on Mount Fuji (Fiji?). He blinked a few times and told me they are two different places. Very different. And then we made out. Not really. But he did let me keep my wedding ring and agreed I could still go with him to Japan. I just have to walk 10 paces behind him. He said it was a cultural thing or something. ?

Needless to say, but crutial to write, I have been pouring over our lonely planet city guide books this week and flagging all sorts of places I can't pronounce. Most importantly, I learned you cannot stick your chop sticks straight up in the rice unless you are at a funeral. Who does that anyway? 10 year olds, that's who. I plan to do it in America EVERY single time we eat rice in public from now on.

And I will need some serious baby powder to put inside my shoes if I will be taking them off all the time. When my dawgs are barking you can hear, oh, smell them clear across town. I know....hotness, right?

And almost lastly is this: What if I fall in love with Tokyo? I'm pretty certain with the vast research I have done a couple hours this week, the awesome bottled water, and that Killers video (was that in Japan?) I am going to love it. Mom, would you move with us? I hear the language is a snap to pick up.

What's the best part about my shoes? Funny you should ask! Sylvia will sit at my feet while I do the dishes and undo / fasten the velcro straps over and over. All 6 of them! Which is like a backwards foot massage. It gets better-this distracts her from climbing into the dishwasher. Or chewing on the E. Coli-laden cooking utensils.



So......I guess this still isn't the time or season for me to have pretty/ breakable soap dispensers in the bathroom. I'll wait another 6+ years...

Too bad. It matched my shower curtain perfectly. I might go buy another one and store it away. Do shower curtains hang around that long?


my alma mater

My first experience tailgating. Mike does a good job stocking the cooler and cooking some brats. Just when the party is about to get off the hook playing nerf catch with Evan, Mike's Uncle Bill and his friend show up. They brought sandwiches and deny our chips and brats. Just then Zane tries to put the car in reverse. And someone drinks the last root beer. That's about how tailgating seems to go when you have kids and no beer.

The people with beer and no kids, however, seemed to be having a REALLY good time. Different groups of people gather behind trucks or SUV's making all sorts of loud, boisterous noises. I turn around, expecting to find something obviously funny or outrageous going on. Nope. Just some overweight men with their shirts off, beers in hand, throwing bean bags at a piece of wood with a hole in it.

The longer I listen to them hilariously laughing at the fun they are having with bean bags, I begin to believe it must be a super fun game! Part of me starts to get up from my chair determined to head over and join the fun, then I remind myself : bean bags. They are tossing bean bags. It's only fun to them because they are buzzed. Then I sit back down and say to myself 'oh that's right'. I have this conversation with myself a few times. But I might invest in a bean bag game just to be sure I'm not missing out.


I love the energy of a large collection of people in one spot. Add cheering, bright colors, soda, and cotton candy and I am all over it. You like that Oxford Comma? I like to use them. But I understand people are leaning away from using them these days. It's nothing to argue about. Just to write songs about.

We have 2 extra tickets from our neighbors, so we each take a kid and sit apart. Zane immediately complains about wanting to go home. The row in front of us is filled with middle aged men sporting crew cuts and thick necks. Their seats alternate with elementary aged sons that are well versed in shouting and cheering at the same time their dads do, but have no idea why. The man next to me has an adorable son Zane's age. He explains the game step by step as things happen. I do what he is doing to the best of my ability. I pretend to know what is going on and point at the field whenever I finally see the ball. I say something about a 20 yard line and talk a lot about the colors of their team and our team. Then fireworks explode and Zane's heart leaps out of his chest. I catch it, put it back in, and then cover his ears. He actually likes the fireworks best, despite his hyper sensitivity to noise. Thank you autism tendency.

He pulls at his blue cotton candy while I wonder if we look like a family with this guy next to us. We are good friends until he denies me the seat switch for Mike and Evan to join us. Something about enjoying the arm rests. Whatever. PANSY! Now I like him less. And I want his team to lose. Badly.

More fireworks! More of Zane complaining. He needs a drink to wash down the fluffy blue sugar. We make our way down to Mike's row. He's in the middle. I shout out for a guy to tap his shoulder. Once I have his eye, I make the international sign for PIMP by rubbing my thumb and fingers together so he can pass on over some money. People think it's funny. I secretly wish I painted our faces half maroon and half gold, but with a stripe of green down the middle just to be confusing.

Sparky is the name of the Sun Devil's mascot, which is so dumb to me. Why can't it just be a devil? Sparky sounds weak. Whenever the other team scores he does push-ups. This means nothing to the crowd. Except the lady 2 rows behind us. Who counts the push-ups out loud the way you would teach a classroom of 5 year olds how to count. Does she know she is the only one counting out loud? I never turn around to see her face. In my mind she has on a pink cardigan and pearl earrings. I don't hear her voice any other time during the game.

Each time I cross my legs my foot accidentally kicks the guy in front of me right in his crack. I lean forward to apologize every time, but he never acknowledges. I wonder if he likes it? It is hot out, I have to switch my legs a lot. I honestly think it happens 7 times. Hard.

Mike's seat neighbors trade us tickets so we get to sit as a family. I enjoy holding Evan as he falls asleep in my arms under the giant, yellow moon. Zane dives into his cup of ice. I love to see Mike's smile as his team scores and little tufts of breeze cool us as night sets in.

It turns out, that guy is right about the seats with arm rests. They ARE way more comfy.


root beer

You know how those Mormons like to party. Throwin em back one after another.


a letter

Sometimes I daydream about our old life when we lived in exciting places and slept in late snuggling and left the house at 9pm to find a new place to eat in the city that never sleeps. I think back like it was a story, someone else's life. When we can't get a sitter and the week was long and we finally meet again after being apart all week and find it's filled with work and tending to the littles pulling us toward opposite ends of the house during that few collection of hours he's here. Making me miss him even more to see him so out of reach, yet finally within the same walls.

Sometimes on a long day after the kids are asleep and he's in a different time zone I whisper into the phone with tears dripping from my eyes how I wish I could steal him from his job and he could steal me from the house and kids and we could sneak away and time warp back to how it was so long ago even if just for an hour. What we were, the time we had alone, the newness of the places we got to explore together.

We are richer in love now and becoming parents together has made us better people and pulled us into a tighter unity than I could have imagined. Even if at times it feels like we are wedged apart with duty, schedules, distance, and weariness occupying our minds and routines.

But this fall we are finally sneaking away. We are grasping hands tight and we are racing away to Tokyo. His resurrected Japanese language abilities will turn me on. I will bite his arm with public impulses of lust and give him looks into his big brown eyes that make him blush. I will steal kisses and eat dinner late and lean over the candle to make him press his lips into mine as often as possible. We will explore new streets we've never seen. We will see buildings that amaze us. We will create itineraries and sleep in late and take long, lazy (or frisky?) showers together and jump on the bed and do whatever we want whenever we want for a solid week.

There will never be time enough alone again like there was in our lives before, not for a long while when our children have grown and become adults. Until then these trips and date nights will have to be enough. And the longing for more will have to be managed.

***Amazing thanks to Melanie, Rachael, and my mom or none of this would be possible!


In Honor of Evan

Our baby boy is potty trained. He is a super hero. Go Evan!


new favorite show

World of Jenks.

His would be my dream job. Andrew Jenks is a Film Maker who moves in with a new stranger to experience a week in their life, from a homeless woman, to an NFL cheerleader, to a rapper. And it gets filmed.

My first episode I saw was him hanging out with a cool autistic adult, Chad. It was amazing. I am hooked.

He dives into a culture and really learns and experiences it in a very true/ accurate way.

See full episodes here. So worth your time. I promise. Mostly the one about Chad, but probably the others as well. Okay maybe not the rapper teaching him about how to hook up with women. You can skip that episode.


Adventures with Respite

(He pretended for the camera like we forced him to play tea party, but he set it all up on his own while Sylvia was off stealing his trains)

So I almost ripped one in front of her tonight and you know I wasn't even stressed about it! There's just something about someone farting on front of you that automatically removes so many social rules. It's almost like skipping the introduction of an essay and writing whatever the hell you want. It's just like that. We can do and say whatever in front of each other now because she farted. Not really, but it's liberating that way in this relationship and any tension that might have been just blew away with her flatulence that first night.

I remember the first time Mike ripped one in front of me. We were in Oregon with his friends for a snowboarding trip. We were out on the balcony not making out for a change. I was actually painting his toe nails this amazing color of powder blue. I know, typical evening, right? He is standing on one leg with his other bent with his foot on a tall stool. Then it happened.


It was loud and long and almost musical.

In a courting relationship it's either so new that something like that would disgust the other person enough to never return calls. Or you're past the getting to know you niceties and find a way for it to be funny.

It felt like we were frozen in time as I stood there holding the nail polish brush. If farts shot BB pellets I would have gotten one right in the eye. I stood up immediately in the dark and wondered where we go with this. THIS. And before I could process what just happened 2 inches from my face, he announced 'um....you might want to go inside'.

I burst out laughing and then painted his other foot. Mostly because of how he responded to such an awkward situation, but also because in my mind I imagined how hard it must have been (impossible even) to try and squeeze that baby in standing as he was. And for some reason someone else's embarrassment is one of the most hilarious things for me to witness. My stomach tightens and my face explodes and I cry tears at the expense of someone else. It's an illness, really. Ask Mike's sister- she'll tell you. I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard when that homeless man in SF sang to her. About how he wanted to make love to her. While a million people stood in line with us waiting for cable cars. I'm sorry. I really should try to change.

Evan asked our respite care provider about her teeth again. He has this habit of asking the same thing over and over even after you give him an answer. I heard him on repeat with this one while I put Sylvia to bed. I had a good talking to with him tonight alone after she left about not asking her about her teeth anymore. Which led to his next habit- the endless series of 'why?' questions. Which causes you to realize nothing really makes any sense the more you try to explain it.

Also, she asked me if my husband was a truck driver. I thought that was...(finding a word)........awesome. No one has ever asked me that before. I think I like her more and more every day.


I really love you tube

I think if I had more time in my life I would find all sorts of new friends on You Tube.

Peaches and Sherlz are awesome- you have to watch them. I want to hang out with them all day long and watch videos with them and talk about it. They rock.

BTW- for those of you at home around children: PG-13 for language.

PS. Thanks Laurel for posting that video this week so it would lead me to my new best friends.


Lord, please bless this woman.

Dear Zane and Evan,

Please don't ask the respite worker who works so hard and is so kind and loving to each of you what is wrong with her teeth. Bless her heart. If I could add her to our dental plan, I would! But I can't.



She said kids she works with ask her that all the time, but she uses it as a learning opportunity. She tells them they better brush their teeth so they don't end up looking like hers. And how not everyone has a pretty smile.

I know! Didn't your heart just break into a million pieces? I wish I could give her my back teeth and she could use them for her front teeth or something. I wish I could help so kids wouldn't ask her about her teeth anymore.


Usually at night Evan freaks out and wants to brush his teeth on his own. Won't let me help him one bit. Tonight he looked long and hard at his tooth brush and said, "Mom, will you brush my teeth for me?"


It's interesting having a stranger join your family routine each day. Praying as a family can't stop so she just joins in! Reading the scriptures as a family can't stop! So she listens. Tonight she got to hear about how Jesus healed a deaf man that couldn't talk very well. I wish I could bring her to Jesus so she could have her teeth healed. She deserves it.

I wonder what she thinks about coming here. I wonder if she enjoys hanging out with us or if she thinks we're freaks.


of goals and gas

(Evan telling me he is three)

The start of my evening sort of felt like a situation comedy. And ended like an Ensign article.

We have been lucky that Zane finally qualified for state funded services for his Autism label. Something all children anywhere on the Autism Spectrum should get, but mothers have to fight very hard to obtain. Several evaluations later (PT, OT, Speech) it's become even more clear to us he could really use extended support beyond us to help him fill in the gaps that come with his differences. Any time you hear someone gripe about labeling a child, tell them to call me so I can show them the evaluations that demonstrate the sizable gap between where he is and where he should be for his age. Without this label he gets none of the support that will help him make up some ground and reach his potential in ways we as regular parents cannot fulfill alone.

So part of his package of services includes what is called Hab Therapy and Respite. It happens to be the same person trained to do both and I am given a certain number of hours and we create goals for him to work on in addition to her guiding him through the evening with regular life routine.

I met and interviewed her and thought she would be a good fit for our family and schedule. Tonight was her first night on the job.

She arrived and Zane had just punched Evan several times, making him cry a lot. Sylvia hates it when Evan cries, so she stared to cry too. Zane was in and out of time-out and no one was eating their dinner I had hoped to have cleaned up before she arrived. I opened the door and she got to see (and hear) the real deal. My kids. My chaos. Dinnertime at its finest.
Every time we tried to talk I had to interrupt the conversation to pull a kid off furniture, redirect someone to the kitchen table, or comfort more tears. Once dinner was finished and the house calmed down she farted. Not Sylvia. The woman! It was awesome. I excused myself to check on Evan in the bathroom because I knew I could not pull a straight face.

I get in the bathroom and Evan tells me he peed on Sylvia. An entire roll of wet toilet paper is bunched up on the floor while she waiting in my kitchen to finish our conversation. I pass her swiftly explaining my son peed on my daughter I need to clean her- I will be right with you- why don't you talk to Zane while he plays computer games and get to know him.
I am not really sure how much time they spent in that room together while I cleaned up Sylvia and dinner. It was a while. But she was getting to know him and I felt the stress melt from my shoulders as I took in the peace that is two people and three children in one home. It works so much easier that way!
The rest of the evening she shadowed me throughout evening routine and I faded out to help one of the little ones while she took over with Zane. Homework. Reward. Cleaning room. Brushing teeth. Jammies on. Etc. Each of these takes a really long time for him to complete and he needs complete 1 on 1 attention just about the entire time.
Tonight I felt it. I know the Lord's hand was in this- for our family to have this kind of support for Zane and for me. It's hard getting what you need for a special needs child, especially one that is high functioning. I know it's not by accident that this blessing is ours and I feel so grateful for it. Even if she has bad gas. She's an answer to my prayers.


aka pebbles

..or Cindy Loo Who. I was never a fan of the pony on the top of the head. Ever. I'm not sure why. I think it just always reminded me of a whale spouting water into the air. But now that I have my own little girl with hair, I'm not sure sure what else to do with it while we grow it. So it's looking all the more acceptable and cute to me. I like it a lot better when I curl it. With a curling iron. She's 1 for crying out loud and I am already curling her hair for church. Who woulda thunk?

Already thinking of Pebbles and Bam Bam for Halloween for the two little ones.


here we go.

Just purchased the first princess junk ever. Spoon/ fork set. I tried to talk her into Sesame Street, but she was having none of it. Excuse me while I go wash the diaper bag I had to throw up in.

HELLO. Sylvia. Don't you know that in this family when you turn 3 you learn to skateboard? I suppose there is nothing too wrong about doing it in a pretty dress-up, but I refuse REFUSE the plastic princess shoes. Someone else will have to get those for you because that's where I draw the line.

okok. in all honesty is made me smile. even though it's not what i would have chosen for her, she made her own little choice and it was pretty cute.


two thoughts

1) When I am in the speedy checkout lane at the grocery store for 10 items and under, I like to count out loud the items that get scanned for the customer in front of me with well over 10 items. *beep* (coughtwelvecough).....*beep* (ahem_thirteen)....Today the final number was 23.

10 and 23 is a sizable difference. More than double the amount listed on the sign above our heads I kept staring at. Throwing a few packs of gum at it like a bull's eye. I just like to help the people of Wal*Mart with their arithmetic skills. I'm a generous person like that.

2) One of my favorite things about the experience of going to church in Midwood (Brooklyn), NY with an entire congregation of people from Haiti was how they would always confuse me with Katie R. and Katie R. with me. She is blonde. I am brunette. I guess we all kind of look the same to them?

3) There is no third item. It just seems more complete to number things with a group of 3 instead of 2.