Wednesday, March 30, 2011

365 - 3/30/11

My sister pushing my babies and hers on the tire swing
Lubbock Texas
March 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm back

...from Texas.  8 hours there, 8 hours back, 3 full days in between.  It was about 85% fun, 15% dealing with cranky, moody, tantrumy boys, and 100% food.  I'm afraid to get on the scale.  Abuelo's. Rise and Shine Donuts.  82nd Street Cafe. Spoonful FroYo. Dion's. Rosa's. Jason's Deli (ok, we have those here, but I never go, so I count is as a treat).  And of all things, Brian's steakhouse, which apparently has been in Lubbock for like 325 years or something and I never ever heard of it or have eaten there or even noticed it on 50th street, but oh boy, I will not lie when I say I had the best chicken fried steak I've had in 15 years (and actually, now that I think about it, probably the first chicken fried steak I've had in 15 years)!  It was divine -- and complete with loaded potato, salad bar - Texas style (that means it had iceberg lettuce, croutons, beets, fried okra, hush puppies, nachos, ranch dressing and cheese), and of course Texas toast.  I'm not joking when I say my pants were t.i.g.h.t. beyond belief by today's drive home. I may have to fast the next week or so.  Or not.

But beyond food, which in my family is sort of like a religion, we did a lot of hang'n around, watching the kids play and laugh and fight and play some more.  It was really laid back and easy going.  The tantrums, well, I don't go into too much in this here blog about my eldest son's tantrums.  They are epic.  They are also something we've dealt with for 6 years now and even though I sort of know to expect them when he is in a changed environment, it still stresses me out and makes me angry and sad and overwhelmed and embarrassed all at the same time.  Because I know that he is an awesome, amazing, smart, loving kid, and it is hard when this side of him comes out and I don't know how to bring him down.  And it seems to come out the most when we are around family (naturally).  But I'm lucky to have a caring, supportive family, and they do love him dearly -both of them - despite tantrums and tears.  I just sort of have this secret hope that one day I'll get through a family visit tantrum-free, ya know??  A Mama can dream...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Hey, guess what? This is my 876th post! That's CRAZY!

Anyway, this is another post about Karate.  If you are sick of reading about me talking about Karate, then move on to your next blog.  But since I think I have 3 people who read my blog on a consistent basis, and they all share my same blood line, I'll go on.

Today Jackson did his first Karate belt test.  In a word - awesome!  I didn't expect to be so moved by the experience, but I was.  Here's what gets me.  My kid is 6 years old.  His Sensei is speaking to him in a combination of English and Japanese, and my son responds to his Sensei's words.  I have NO IDEA what Sensei Swain was saying, but Jackson did.  Sensei said something, Jackson responded with appropriate actions and words.  It was so freaking cool!  It was, dare I say it, powerful.

Here's the thing - all the things my son knows to date are things I know.  He has "fact power" at school (meaning he knows all his math facts), which as a 37 year old woman, so do I.  I know the amount of geography he knows.  The spelling he knows.  Art and music, I can keep up.  Science, sure, I can swing that.  I even know how to belay down a climbing wall like he does (though I confess, he's far better at it than I am).  Not major feats - I SHOULD know all the things my 6 year old does, cause, you know, I have 31 years on him and I completed the first grade with flying colors 30 years ago.  But you know what I don't know? Shotakan Karate.  Know who does know it? My 6 year old.  That's wild!  I doubt I'm expressing myself the way I want to, or the way my brain wrapped around today's experience, but the word that comes to mind is powerful.  I see so much potential in my boys, and to see it happening before my very eyes just brings me to tears.  And yes, I teared up, sue me.  My boy rocked it!

Oh yeah, and woo-hoo, 876!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

365 - 3/20/11

Experimenting with Photoshop.

Spring Break is this week. Have planned out almost every day, including a trip to Texas for me and the boys.  They are excited to see their Grandparents, their cousins and their aunt and uncle.  I'm excited to see them all, too, but don't be fooled, I'm also ready for some good Texas grub - Taco Villa, One Guy from Italy (yeah, good calzones in Texas - go figure! and yes, he really IS from Italy, that one guy...), Abuelo's, and maybe even Spankys this time around (fried cheese, please!).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

365 - 3/19/11

Bread Rising
(Don't be too impressed, it is from the freezer.  But you can be impressed that I turned it into cinnamon rolls.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

365 - 3-17-11

I'm failing miserably at this 365 project.  Here's a picture of a sandwich.

Monday, March 14, 2011

365 - 3/14/11

This kid's testing for his striped belt next week.  Crazy proud Mama!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

365 - 3/13/11

March 13, 2011
Lazy Daze
After a crazy busy day yesterday  - Karate tournament, movie date with the Weik's to see "Mars Needs Moms" (yes, Lisa and I both cried a wee little bit), and then dinner with the Weik's as well, we needed a chill out day.  So that's what we've done.  I'm about to head off for a much anticipated family shoot with one of the founders of Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, but wanted to throw up these two cuties who are actually worn out and tired and testing boundaries - but still, obviously, ridiculously handsome.  Good thing, otherwise they might be sleeping out back with the coyotes tonight.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

365 - 3/12/11

Today was Jackson's first Karate tournament. I don't have a picture to post.  We have video, which will come, but need to get it from Shawn.  But I had to post about it.  Awesomeness!!  I had such Mama-Bear pride going on.  He was nervous all morning long, and told us he didn't want to go.  We got to the tournament and the tears started as soon as we were registered.  His nerves were getting the better of him and I flashed back to my first high school play performance.  I know those nerves.  But I also knew once he was in the moment his love of the sport would shine through.  He really has grown to love Karate, and I see it as a great sport for him to put his attention and focus to.  I was proud of him for competing as only a white belt - his Sensei encouraged it.

So the tears eventually dried and he started to do some practicing.  When time came for the meet to begin he seemed so small to me, compared to those with more experience. But he had his game face on and was ready to go.  He did his Kata beautifully and even won his first round!  I think the pride was leaping out of my skin.  When the tournament was over he was full of pride in himself as well, even if he didn't medal.  He faced a fear and over came it.  He performed solo in front of a room full of judges and parents and competitors.  He was confident and proud and that was all that mattered.  He was a true little man today - I can't wait to see how he continues to grow.

Friday, March 11, 2011

365 - 3/11/11

Thursday, March 10, 2011

365 - 3/10/11

Tonight I just want to do this.  Nighty-night.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

365 - 3/9/11

Growing up we shared a room most of our youth.  We fought over the top bunk and closet space and shared shoes.  At night I would tell her stories and quiz her about them the next day as we waited for our ride home from school.  In our teens we ignored each other as much as possible.  I was jealous of her athleticism and size 2 figure.  I doubt she was jealous of me for anything.  We both had convertible Mercury Capri's - mine was red, hers was white (maybe she was jealous of my red car).  When I left for college (which was just 70 blocks from home) she whined to Mom that I probably wouldn't even miss her.  When she left for college (100's of miles away), I helped mover her across the state and whined that she got the TV from our old bedroom.

Now she's a mom.  A mommy.  And a really, really good mommy at that.  At 4 weeks post-partum I was a walking zombie.  At 4 weeks post-partum she laughs and stays up until 11:30 at night.  I struggled with nursing my first baby, and though I stuck with it I found it challenging and stressful in the beginning.  She quickly made the decision that nursing wasn't for her, but pumps every single bottle for her baby girl.  That's dedication and love.  Her baby sleeps in the same bed my two boys slept in.  I sighed when I saw it - it took me back.  I cried when I got off the plane and saw her standing there - already fitting into her post-pregnancy jeans, with a pink and brown stroller and a sweet little bundle of cuteness quietly snoozing.   She adores her daughter.  Absolute adoration.

I loved our brief few days together.  We laughed and played and talked and laughed some more.  I loved seeing she and Robert with their newborn baby girl.  There's all kinds of love going on there, be certain of that.  We got mani's and pedi's (me and Kim, not Robert).  We went out to lunch.  She got a haircut.  I bought a new shirt.  I cuddled that sweet newborn as much as I could.  We posed Chloe for multiple photosessions.  And on the last day we realized we forgot to take a picture of us together with Chloe.  We set the timer and snapped this shot -- Robert was already at work.  I'll treasure it.  Just like I treasure her.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

365 - 3/8/11

I am back from my trip to Texas to meet this cutie-patootie.  Isn't she lovely?!?!  I am blessed with 6 gorgeous nieces (and one handsome nephew), Chloe being the youngest.  Seeing my sister as a mommy was breathtaking.  She has it all under control - I remember being a mess after my first was born.  But not Kimi.  She was made for mommyhood.  She has wanted a baby for awhile now and this little one does not disappoint.  She is sweet and gentle and perfect.

I have been having a bit of a baby bug for awhile now.  Not that I could do anything about it, we, um, took care of business a few years ago, so no more babies for us.  But that doesn't mean that my heart wouldn't yearn for another.  And as much as I adored Chloe, and how easy of a baby she is, I realized on this trip that I'm definitely good with my two boys.  Babies are a LOT of work.  Ya know? You kind of forget that.  And we're in a place now where there is a certain amount of independence in each of our boys, which means I can focus on my career a little bit more.  And honestly, my photography business is a bit of a toddler right now.  We're making big steps together, but it still needs hand holding and nurturing - quite a bit like a baby.

So Miss Chloe... thank you for letting me snuggle you and feed you and play with you and sing to you.  And for being a perfectly lovely little niece.  You are dear to my heart, as is my sister and the rest of her family.  But I'm good on the baby front.

Friday, March 04, 2011

365 - 3/4/11

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

a conversation at dinner

It's no secret that Holden is the pickiest eater on the planet. He refuses to eat dinner approximately 5 nights out of 7.  I'm trying to put my foot  down on this and NOT be a short order cook.  Eat what I cook or don't eat at all.  I do put out something I know he'll like with each meal - strawberries, apples, something like that.  Often that is all he eats.  Tonight I'll claim a small victory in that he didn't just try his homemade talapia fish sticks, he actually ate 3 bites (after I told him it was a dinosaur - it did look like one).

ANYWAY, so he's not eating anything but his berries at first.  So the conversation goes:

me: Holden are you going to be a vegetarian?
H: What?
me: Who knows what a vegetarian is?
J: ME! It's a doctor for animals!
Shawn and I bust out laughing but try to hide that laugh so Jackson won't think we're making fun of him.
me: No, close, a veteranarian is a doctor for animals, a vegetarian is someone who doesn't eat meet.  So are you going to be a vegetarian Holden?
H: No, I'm going to be a teacher.
More of Shawn and I trying to disguise our full on gut busting.  Best. Dinner. Conversation. Ever.

365 - 3/1/11

March 1, 2011
Bananas with Boo
Hang'n on the couch, eat'n 'nana's, and laughing.