2.28.2011

more music

Today I ran to Modest Mouse. It was fun to see Kati and then Lisa at the gym. She got really embarrassed when I made loud grunting noised during my manly workout. She tried to pretent she didn't know me. Until she experienced the joy of manly workout grunting and then we both laughed. Then we said goodbye and I put my earbuds back in and enjoyed more Modest Mouse. I could totally do the drums in this song btw.

I have a lot of topics to write about in my head, but am finding it a challenge to make the time to type them out. Eventually....

2.24.2011

today's music pleasure

Listening to Dido today. I sure wish they had a better band name. What comes to mind when YOU see that word? Yeah, me too.



While See the Sun isn't going to help me have a fast pace at the gym today, it's still a decent album to go running to.

2.23.2011

CA E. B.



I had breakfast with my friend this week and she suggested Crackers and Co. Cafe.

I cannot express enough how delicious my California Eggs Benny was. It had parts of a traditional eggs benedict. But underneath it had the best bacon that has ever been put into my mouth. Avocado. Right there should sell you on it. Fresh spinach and tomato. It was my breakfast dream come true. I think I am about double obsessed with this than I have been with Sprinkles cupcakes (chocolate on chocolate flavor to be specific).

I love delicious food. If only I could prepare these things myself. *sigh*

2.22.2011

Local Natives


I like the sound of this band: Local Natives. Really mellow. They remind me of a breezy California day in the spring. Just all around pretty and calming sounds. Probably not the kind of description they were aiming for when they pulled a band together and made songs.



This one [Airplanes] makes me wish I knew my grandfather.

2.21.2011

why didn't I know about this?


Monday is always a good day for a little Robert Smith, I always say. But where the hell did Crystal Castles come from? They feature him just in this song. How did that connection happen? Um.....Can I have that happen for my someday band, please?

skating


{Sylvia pulled this out of my closet and walked around the house like it was her turn to learn.}

Friday I taught one of Zane's therapist's daughters how to skateboard. It rocked. She saw me teaching Evan one day and said her daughter wanted to learn so I offered. It felt so good to be teaching someone something I love doing and to see her beaming with joy and feeling so confident as her skills improved. We rocked it in the skate park together and we loved every minute of it. She is such a cool kid.

It also felt so good to be giving back to someone who does so much for my son (and family) so many days of each week. She makes my son smile more than anyone else and I was so happy to teach her daughter something that made her smile, as well.

I thought about what I saw when Zane took a lesson 3 years ago and I also used some tips from this video.

2.19.2011

listening to....


Weezer's Pinkerton this week while running again.

Reminded me of our little adventure in Tokyo. There was something magical about listening to El Scorcho while actually being in Japan seeing Japanese girls. Sometimes I forget how nice this band is to listen to.

2.17.2011

that dog



I ran at the gym to an album by an old time band called that dog today. It's one of the few albums I listen to that actually inspires me to want to try a girl band. Regardless of the drama I imagine that would ensue. Because that's what us girls are good at.

At any rate- I love every single song on Retreat From The Sun. Although Totally Crushed Out makes me {almost} equally happy.





2.14.2011

good looking


We have a little water closet like this in our master bedroom. I would love to smash it out all awesome like this. What is the design on that wallpaper anyway? It looks like acorns gone fireworks and frozen in mid-explosion. I really should be in charge of naming wallpaper.
ps. I have never thought of a toilet as being good looking, but in this case- a handsome toilet I would say!
image found via MFAMB.

I think Ur a Contra



* Traditional hearts filled with chocolate left on the kids' dressers. This is a tradition my mom did when I was a kid and I loved it!

*Breakfast pancakes shaped like hearts

* Got yummy cookies from a friend! Baked goods for us from Gma and Gpa Fuller. And the kids got suckers from another friend.



* Ran to Vampire Weekend at the gym



* Reading Running with Scissors. People really should try to avoid comparing anyone to David Sedaris. Especially this author; he's not even close. Still, an interesting memoir.



* Thought about my history of Valentines Past. My favorite with Mike by far was when we met on a corner in NYC and I planned it all. He had no idea we would take a carriage ride through central park and hit a French Restaurant. Most random was (not Mike) a customer when I worked at a pizza place. I didn't know him, he brought me a card and a Little Debbie box of Valentine cakes. He referred to me in the card as "Eyes" because he never asked me my name (?). I always giggle when I see those boxes in the store this time of year. I always wonder if he was confused why he didn't win me over with Little Debbies. If he was like 'where did I go wrong?' when I never called.

* I am trying to teach my kids to not be the Little Debbie guy. Each year they will pick a Valentine (or two) and we will have them deliver something. This year was simple heart-shaped rice crispy treats. We will upgrade the gift as they get older. It's fun, but I know eventually they will protest.

2011: Zane: Taryn, Evan: Cache, Sylvia: Mikey.

* pancake, VW, book photos from google

post secret


How cute is this Post Secret message?

2.05.2011

Sylvia

My sister thinks my little Sylvia is a girly girl. And she can be, but here are also some of her tomboy roots showing through


Caught her playing in the dirt happy as can be!


Her world of toys: loves her babies, their bottles, and toy necklaces:


Discovered her Barbie recenty. She put it on a bike and pushed her in a truck:


Elmo always makes her smile for a long time:


Pigtails!


Caught playing in the mud with brothers!





This mama loves shoe shopping for the little feet in the family.

2.02.2011

let's just go there again



I just decided right now that if I ever publish a book, this is going to be the picture of me in the back that tells about my exciting life in the suburbs of Arizona. Let's revisit this amazing tampon costume again. It makes me so happy to look at myself in this costume. I want to count the ways of its awesomeness.
1) It was cold that night, but with the thickness of my costume's absorbancy I was actually warm. It was like I had the insides of a blanket wrapped all around me. O wait, I actually did! That was a nice perk.

2) I spilled soda into my lap on accident. And I didn't even have to clean it up. I watched the puddle disappear beofre my eyes. Then I kept on eating, I didn't even have to get up to get a napkin! That was another unplanned benefit of my costume choice. Most other costumes would require some degree of cleaning up effort after a spill. And if I spilled too much, I could have always just pulled the string and tossed it away.
3) I imagined something funny to me and it actually came into play! I was lucky to have a partner in crime to execute the sewing and cutting (thanks Alicia). It is fun to see an idea turn into a reality. Even if it's only something as simple as a costume.

4) I loved making people laugh. It makes me feel really happy inside and out.

5) It's just an overall enjoyable experience to spend an evening as a tampon. I would recommend it to anyone.


6) It won't be too challenging to turn this into a family- theme costume. Think of Sylvia as a little bottle of Midol, Evan could be a pad, Mike has the period thing all worked out, we could borrow someone's female dog and taking it walking with us, Zane can wear The Cramps concert T-shirt. It's really wonderful how undeniably useful my creative juices are.

ice and food

Once we had adjusted to New York life (i.e. high cost of living, the small space to live in, subway culture, alternate street parking, and working 80 hours a week...) there was not much to complain about over the years. We grew to love and learn and exlore all we could as much as we were able. There is so, so much we both miss about the experiences we got to have living there.

The only exception to that is winter. Every winter we would swear at the bitter cold that left us feeling naked no matter how many layers we wore when we ventured outside.

This is one thing we will never miss about New York (my friend Tanya's car this week covered in ICE):



In other news I found a perfect template for meal planning/ grocery shopping list from inchmark : read about it and download it here.
.

ricericebaby


I recently made this and had a friend request the recipe.

Hawaiian Chicken Bowl

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple
1 bottle (16 oz) barbecue sauce
4-6 cups rice, cooked
Steamed broccoli
Ranch dressing

Place meat in 3 1/2 - 5 quart slow cooker. Combine pineapple and barbecue sauce and pour over meat. Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Layer in caserole dish in this order from bottom to top: rice, chicken mixture, broccoli, and drizzle ranch dressing over the top. It is ready to serve! Makes 4-6 servings.

*I have also used pork and it still turned out awesome

2.01.2011

a long post about feelings

Wow. It's not very often I read something that seems as though it was translated directly from my soul. But this little letter I read this morning, it was exactly where I was last year. Every single step, every single expression, every part of what is written I have felt about having an autistic child. It's interesting how a part of your life becomes something different than you imagined or hoped or 'planned' for it to be and that it takes a process in your mind and heart to come to embrace it. How magically and wonderfully well we are able to work through it in a series of steps (through passing time) and that something so heavy and huge becomes light and normal one day. That a pain so dense can dissipate, but in the thick of it you can't imagine it ever ending. And that is normal, reading about and talking to other mothers that have gone through the process of accepting their child is part of a different club than we would prefer, we all run through the same process from pain to acceptance. Often feeling very much alone in the journey. Finding these people in my life and reading about them brings me great comfort.

****

From the blog a diary of a mom written by Jess back in May:

Welcome To the Club

My dear friend,

I am so sorry for your pain.

Don’t worry; no one else sees it, I promise. To the rest of the world, you’re fine. But when you’ve been there, you can’t miss it.

I see it in your eyes. That awful, combustible mixture of heart-wrenching pain and abject fear. God, I remember the fear.

I see it in the weight of that invisible cloak that you wear. I remember the coarseness of its fabric on my skin. Like raw wool in the middle of the desert. You see, it was mine for a time.

I never would have wanted to pass it on to you, my love. I remember so well suffocating under the weight of it, struggling for breath, fighting to throw it off while wrapping myself in its awful warmth, clutching its worn edges for dear life.

I know that it feels like it’s permanent, fixed. But one day down the line you will wake up and find that you’ve left it next to the bed. Eventually, you’ll hang it in the closet. You’ll visit it now and then. You’ll try it on for size. You’ll run your fingers over the fabric and remember when you lived in it, when it was constant, when you couldn’t take it off and leave it behind. But soon days will go by before you wear it again, then weeks, then months.

I know you are staring down what looks to be an impossibly steep learning curve. I know it looks like an immovable mountain. It is not. I know you don’t believe me, but step by step you will climb until suddenly, without warning, you will look down. You will see how far you’ve come. You’ll breathe. I promise. You might even be able to take in the view.

You will doubt yourself. You won’t trust your instincts right away. You will be afraid that you don’t have the capacity to be what your baby will need you to be. Worse, you’ll think that you don’t even know what she needs you to be. You do. I promise. You will.

When you became a mother, you held that tiny baby girl in your arms and in an instant, she filled your heart. You were overwhelmed with love. The kind of love you never expected. The kind that knocks the wind out of you. The kind of all encompassing love that you think couldn’t possibly leave room for any other. But it did.

When your son was born, you looked into those big blue eyes and he crawled right into your heart. He made room for himself, didn’t he? He carved out a space all his own. Suddenly your heart was just bigger. And then again when your youngest was born. She made herself right at home there too.

That’s how it happens. When you need capacity you find it. Your heart expands. It just does. It’s elastic. I promise.
You are so much stronger than you think you are. Trust me. I know you. Hell, I am you.

You will find people in your life who get it and some that don’t. You’ll find some that want to get it and some that never will. You’ll find a closeness with people you never thought you had anything in common with. You’ll find comfort and relief with friends who speak your new language. You’ll find your village.

You’ll change. One day you’ll notice a shift. You’ll realize that certain words have dropped out of your lexicon. The ones you hadn’t ever thought could be hurtful. Dude, that’s retarded. Never again. You won’t laugh at vulnerability. You’ll see the world through a lens of sensitivity. The people around you will notice. You’ll change them too.

You will learn to ask for help. You’ll have to. It won’t be easy. You’ll forget sometimes. Life will remind you.

You will read more than you can process. You’ll buy books that you can’t handle reading. You’ll feel guilty that they’re sitting by the side of the bed unopened. Take small bites. The information isn’t going anywhere. Let your heart heal. It will. Breathe. You can.

You will blame yourself. You’ll think you missed signs you should have seen. You’ll be convinced that you should have known. That you should have somehow gotten help earlier. You couldn’t have known. Don’t let yourself live there for long.

You will dig deep and find reserves of energy you never would have believed you had. You will run on adrenaline and crash into dreamless sleep. But you will come through it. I swear, you will. You will find a rhythm.

You will neglect yourself. You will suddenly realize that you haven’t stopped moving. You’ve missed the gym. You’ve taken care of everyone but you. You will forget how important it is to take care of yourself. Listen to me. If you hear nothing else, hear this. You MUST take care of yourself. You are no use to anyone unless you are healthy. I mean that holistically, my friend. HEALTHY. Nourished, rested, soul-fed. Your children deserve that example.

A friend will force you to take a walk. You will go outside. You will look at the sky. Follow the clouds upward. Try to find where they end. You’ll need that. You’ll need the air. You’ll need to remember how small we all really are.
You will question your faith. Or find it. Maybe both.

You will never, ever take progress for granted. Every milestone met, no matter what the timing, will be cause for celebration. Every baby step will be a quantum leap. You will find the people who understand that. You will revel in their support and love and shared excitement.

You will encounter people who care for your child in ways that restore your faith in humanity. You will cherish the teachers and therapists and caregivers who see past your child’s challenges and who truly understand her strengths. They will feel like family.

You will examine and re-examine every one of your own insecurities. You will recognize some of your child’s challenges as your own. You will get to know yourself as you get to know your child. You will look to the tools you have used to mitigate your own challenges. You will share them. You will both be better for it.
You will come to understand that there are gifts in all of this. Tolerance, compassion, understanding. Precious, life altering gifts.

You will worry about your other children. You will feel like you’re not giving them enough time. You will find the time. Yes, you will. No, really. You will. You will discover that the time that means something to them is not big. It’s not a trip to the circus. It doesn’t involve planning. It’s free. You will forget the dog and pony shows. Instead, you will find fifteen minutes before bed. You will close the door. You will sit on the floor. You’ll play Barbies with your daughter or Legos with your son. You’ll talk. You’ll listen. You’ll listen some more. You’ll start to believe they’ll be OK. And they will. You will be a better parent for all of it.

You will find the tools that you need. You will take bits and pieces of different theories and practices. You’ll talk to parents and doctors and therapists. You’ll take something from each of them. You’ll even find value in those you don’t agree with at all. Sometimes the most. From the scraps that you gather, you will start to build your child’s quilt. A little of this, a little of that, a lot of love.

You will speak hesitantly at first, but you’ll find your voice. You will come to see that no one knows your child better than you do. You will respectfully listen to the experts in each field. You will value their experience and their knowledge. But you will ultimately remember that while they are the experts in science, you are the expert in your child.

You will think you can’t handle it. You will be wrong.

This is not an easy road, but its rewards are tremendous. It’s joys are the very sweetest of life’s nectar. You will drink them in and taste and smell and feel every last drop of them.

You will be OK.

You will help your sweet girl be far better than OK. You will show her boundless love. She will know that she is accepted and cherished and celebrated for every last morsel of who she is. She will know that her Mama’s there at every turn. She will believe in herself as you believe in her. She will astound you. Over and over and over again. She will teach you far more than you teach her. She will fly.

You will be OK.

And I will be here for you. Every step of the way.
With love,
Jess
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