I know. I should blog more. And I seriously come up with 22 things a day to "blog about" but, somehow, when I open up typepad and stare at the blank "compose" screen... it just stares back. Yes, I could write the ideas down as they come to me and I do, sometimes. But by then, the "moment" is gone. The lovely, self-indulgent rant has usually lost steam and is nothing but a boring commentary on something probably very boring. And the screen stares back blank, white, rude.
The other thing about that is, and this has long been a nasty word for me... Practice. I could practice my writing more... write down the thought and a few of the gems that I strung together in my head and then practice (cough, twitch, cough) recreating them on that ugly, white screen. Fine. Yes. Practice.
My other reason excuse is that there are so many negative things going on I just don't want to be a Debbie Downer (I'm glad I'm not named or, at the moment know anyone named, Debbie).
That and by the time I usually get to sit down and "hear myself think" as my mom used to say (only I really mean it) I'm exhausted. Have I mentioned I have twin boys?? I swear to all that is worth swearing to that they are The. Loudest. Things. On. The. @#$(**@#(. Planet.
If you've traveled within a two-mile radius of our house, you know what I mean.
Last night, when they started in to their love of all things NOISYASHELL, Daddy made a most brilliant suggestion that the legos and tub they were in be transferred to the bedroom of NoiseThing 1 and NoiseThing 2. I stopped what I was doing (baking for Daddy's pot luck today) and moved said tub and instruments of ear destruction into the boys' room. And Thank Heaven for That. Bonus that we paid our upstairs cement people back with some very special sounds of their own.
Anyway - I really, really want to write more and, once again, it is a goal in the new year (wha'??) to do so. Not that this bonus for a blogger doesn't serve as a slight motivator... I once said I wanted to write something that would make it to Oprah's Book Club, but so far, they aren't offering that to books that are in people's heads... hmph.
Another problem I experience is that many of the blogs I love, love, love tend to lean on the irreverant side and I'm not totally comfortable lettin' it all hang out, so to speak... and since I can barely find time to write here, starting another blog where I try my hand at the rude but funny doesn't feel very realistic. However, I sort of feel like finding a way to reconcile those two, might just be a key. I think the best blogs sort of have a goal or a theme and I can't come up with an idea of One Theme for me. My ADD life doesn't allow for one thing, one thing at a time or one thing for very long. Ideas? I'm open to "you should"s ...
So - there ya' have it. My random blathering for today.
Questions? Comments? Thoughts? Concerns?
A friend of mine shared this story on Facebook.
I don't remember exactly when I decided I would always check "yes" to the question "organ donor" but I know it was early teens because I didn't have a driver's license on which to note my preference. It was important to me to find a way to indicate this and I remember telling my parents.
I'm thankful I've not had to make that decision for anyone and I have the highest of admiration for those who have been faced with the extremely difficult choice and been so generous in such an unimagineably difficult time.
Many of you may remember this recent story - it is local for us and really struck a lot of people. Rachel's parents chose to time her final moments so they could provide help to those who needed it desperately.
Kyle had a friend in an every day accident that proved to be too much for his body to overcome. His family, too, chose to reach others in dire circumstances and ease their pain in the midst of their very own nightmare.
I have to believe, once the initial pain eases a bit, that there is a comfort in knowing there is someone out there, doing their daily things, carrying on for the one who was lost. That every day, they live to give someone else a life.
If you haven't ever thought organ donation was something you could do or if you just hadn't considered it, I ask you to re-think.
I can't imagine the broken hearts Taylor's parents must have. I admire them and hold them at hero status for their gift of love and hope made in their darkest time.
Look at this and make sure everyone around you knows your wishes. And be careful out there.
Had a partial stay at home day today. Funny me, thought I could take the boys in to work and Accomplish Something. I think the only things we truly accomplished were annoying Laura and making her feel the quiet perhaps wasn't so bad after all. (i'm sure she wasn't really annoyed. Relieved when we left, annoyed, no.)
The two of them are really growing into the Little Boy phase. It's that thinner face, longer legs, holding conversations place where you realize you no longer have a baby (long gone) or a toddler (though we still have drools occasionally) and see this person emerging. I'm sure our recent success in potty-training has helped bring that view more into focus. I was afraid, for a while, that we would have to wait for adult onset toilet use, thank Heaven that did not actually happen.
As nice as it is, to have them walk to the car with me, up and down stairs farily independently and, now, not need diaper purchases or changing, I still wonder what happened to those little faces. I was home for the first two and a half years and darn close by for the last year and a half and yet the time has been a blink of an eye.
I should know this, with my 23 and 20 year olds off on their own adventures. It still always sneaks up on you, like the bad guy jumping out in a movie - you know he's there, you know it's going to happen, you still jump when it does.
My friends and sister are talking about first days of school with their kids. One of the Secrets of Motherhood is that the first day of Kindergarden, while hard, isn't the toughest of days. Each year, they grow a little taller, the shiny, new backpack looks a little smaller, there is a little more confidence in their step as they walk away and, eventually, they stop turning back with their little wave. Every First Day through K & A's school careers, I dropped them off so I could be a part of their new chapter. And every First Day, I would call my mom in tears, "it's the first day of school and it isn't any easier".
So, in the screaming and the fits and the Extremely Loud version of my life currently, I think about the days when they will be looking back with a little wave to say, "Bye, Mom, off to school now"... and I soak in as much Little Boy time as I can.
and his brother, will.
The junior photographer - he loves to carry around old cell phones with cameras, too. He's managed some hilarious shots, I just need to figure out how to download them!
Will is such the mom, much like his older brother, Adam. No matter who I'm "correcting", my little echo voice sounds just like Will's. He's the rule enforcer (just like Adam used to!) and bender when he needs... (just like Adam... um, never did...) Loves to sing and dance (his latest song is the Katy Perry song "TGIF" he loves to holler!)
David loves to jump and run and jump and snuggle and jump. Like his Daddy, he's either going 1,012 miles an hour or 0. He loves to try new stuff, as long as his wingman is right there.
They don't sleep (still) and have weird dreams where the other one must be stealing toys - they both often yell in their sleep "MY ball, phone, truck.... you name it"... Will loves his quiet time and David loves to have his partner in crime right with him - or he'll go looking for him.
They fill this apartment with noise and clutter, trucks and blocks and finger prints and milk spills and interrupt our sleep Constantly ... and make this life a colorful, lovely, snuggly place. You know, since my first two ditched me.
Spending my evening being thankful for an extra bonus day with them today. And thankful they finally went to sleep so there can be quiet, if only for a few hours.
We went through storage a few weeks ago. Reorganizing stuff that we haven't seen in almost three years and reducing, once again. We are actually down to stuff that we need/want.... well, want. It's Christmas stuff and keepsake stuff and, well, stuffy stuff. I have to say, the level of Crap that we lug around has been dramatically reduced. (My apologies to those of you who helped us move the 9 tons of that stuff. Several times. In the Heat.)
Out of a crappy time in Teri history came some gems from my now older boys. And thank heaven to look back and find the bits of Normal from an otherwise turbulent time. It's for times like that I'm especially glad I keep everything. One of my All Time Favorites is a note written by Kyle, then 11-ish?, that says "Adam, I went to Circle K, but if mom calls, tell her I went to get the mail". Which is great. I mean, who hasn't enlisted their sibling in a little mom redirection now and then? Usually, however, there is an understanding that someone gets rid of the evidence rather than leaving it out for mom. heh.
Another, less incriminating gem, is from a little cartoon called "Ed, Ed n Eddy". "How can my feet smell when they don't have a nose?" Plank was a piece of wood with two eyes and a mouth drawn on it and was the best friend of Johnny 2x4... In our house, Plank appeared as well...
It's one of those things that just appeared one day, likely while the boys were at their dads or something, and made me laugh beyond reason. Plank got packed with the Circle K note (among other items) and resurfaced several weeks ago in our storage jaunt.
I sent that picture to remind Kyle (in Almost Chicago) and Adam (Still in Phoenix) that Plank Lives - you know, assuming he did in the first place...
I decided, in Amelie fashion, that Plank needed to get out of his box and see the world a bit. Or at least the Seattle area.
So, tonight, as we prepared to join Alan and Marion and Jay Patch along with my sister and Owen and Molly for dinner in Seattle, Plank did a little sight seeing with us. We watched the elevators go way, way up into the Space Noodle, the helicopter take off from KING 5 headquarters, we ran and ran (well, Plank didn't run) but we had a lovely evening.
If I didn't know better, I'd say Plank was enjoying himself. His color certainly looks better.
Anyway - Plank has agreed to write in on his adventures from time to time. Now there's something to look forward to!
And thank you Patch and Reagan family for such a lovely visit! We miss our family and friends in Phoenix - we just don't miss PHoenix. Can't you all just move up here? Plank is here. What else do you need?
(there ya' go, Amber... a whole lotta' nuthin'... I aim to please!)
July, I have determined, is going to be a wash. For me at least. Between the silly back injury, Chris's crazy busy job and Chris's crazy busy job, I haven't run but a couple of Saturdays this month. So, I give in to July and take back over in August. In the wise words of Jed Bartlett, "Break's Over" ... at least it will be in August.
In the meantime, I've been playing with this...
I've had a fabulous lesson in communications lately. Rather, how not to communicate. Suffice to say that some information is better than no information, always. K? Good.
On another note, last Friday, my sister had a hard day. When she called later in the evening, she was rather upset and I, of course, wanted to be there to help. The boys and I were at City Hall in Redmond listening to the music of LeRoy Bell when we got the call. Well... I was trying to listen and the boys were trying to run their buses all over where people were trying to dance... I digress... As the boys were hollering about having to leave, I explained that "Aunt Bunny is sad and we need to go help"... My mind flashed to the Wonder Pets song, "to save the bunny, to save the bunny"... (sorry, Sis) and I hoped I would tap into that toddler style sympathy. It seemed to work as they repeated, "Aunt Bunny needs help, she is sad".
All that to say this: at 8:45 this evening, I told the boys, "It's time to get jammies on and read some stories". "No" they both said. Then David (Delay Fish #1) says "Aunt Bunny needs help, she is sad", then Will, jumping on the bandwagon, "Ya, Aunt Bunny needs help, she is sad".
And there, in a quick Tuesday evening, the first and in no possible way the last, came the double team efforts of David and Will. For any of you who listened to Bill Cosby... "cuz' it's only Mom and she can whip both of us at the same time".
I'm not sure Trouble defines my future well enough.
Then again, who would trust these two?
So - in summary... July is my fat month, August will be my "recapture everything I just lost" month (okay the start of it... whatevs), communicate well (in other words share information, duh) and beware of cute boys who look alike.
My work here is done.
More later -
The last few weeks have just been strange.
When the chaos of twin toddlers seems the solace... it's weird out there!
Work, as I may have mentioned, has been a little like building a path with jig-saw pieces that don't quite go together. We've made it kind of work, but it's clearly not going together well and we need more pieces before it's going to make sense. It's been that way since February. No prob.
The boys are at that stage of 3 that makes it a miracle that any of us actually make it to 4... One of the helps of having kids two different ages, no matter how close they are in age, is that they are usually in different stages at different times. When Kyle was going through a particularly difficult stage, Adam was usually pretty easy and vice versa... thank Heaven. A Normal Child when you want to send the other one back offers a level of perspective. When it's two at the same "holy-cow-they're-going-to-kill-me-in-my-sleep" stage, it can be a little overwhelming. David and Will have a love for volume... the more the better and, please, let's compete...
Chris and I had a lovely date night - one of those that make you remember that you really were individual people with thoughts and a sense of humor that had nothing to do with "boo!" or anything Disney related. Note to self on this one: Have dinner and a drink (or several) at the same place where you're seeing the movie so you can enjoy the drink(s) at dinner since you'll have a whole movie to laugh/popcorn it off... it was so nice to relax, and we kind of dressed up and made it a Date.
We saw a movie that was released the Very Weekend we were out (Horrible Bosses) and laughed and knew we chose the right movie! So happy and thankful for that date night!
The boys were playing with some of their blocks and Will handed me this:
And, being the child of the 70's and 80's I am... I immediately thought of them...
Are we not men? NO! We are mega-blocks... come on... I'm not the only one that is humming "Whip It", right?!?
And speaking of the 80's... my friend, Andrea, sent this GEM to me... and OMG I had no idea it existed... (yes, those are balloons)...
Yes, too, that is a Journey shirt and holy cow do you love that couch?
This one is so dear to me - and it just shows, I've always been a clown...
God do I love those high-tops ... ah the days of collars up and elf boots and "please make my hair feather more"...
And - back to today... a blog I've read for far longer than I care to admit (since around 2004...) showed off an ap for her brand-new iPhone (how I had one before her, I'll never fully grasp) called "Instagram". I had the "hipstamatic" but it was a little cumbersome to use. The Instagram is not cumbersome, in fact, quite the opposite and offers an array of "lenses" to apply to your photo for different effects. Love It. As I told Chris, when Cathy Zielske finds a new obsession, everyone benefits, as in a lovely new Photoshop layout that I'm having a blast with. What do the photos look like, you ask? I'm glad you did!
It's so much fun... there will be more, oh yes, there will be more...
I need to fake some sleep tonight... tomorrow could be a big day for me and the less there are dark circles under my eyes, or bloodshot eyes, or yawning - it would probably be beneficial.
David is asleep in the hallway (for the third time tonight), Chris is asleep on the couch, though he'll say he wasn't... ahem, and I've eaten everything I can in the kitchen. Must be time for bed.
More later --
I was folding socks one day. I was about 26 years old, mom to two kids and married longer than I care to admit for that age (7 years…) Anyway. I learned to fold socks by placing them side by side and turning one into the other so you effectively wind up with a little sock ball - easy to get to the sock drawer and easy to pull out a pair from the drawer. Except I hated it. (sorry, Mom) I hated that, when putting on a pair of socks, one ankle was looser than the other and would likely fall down and bug me all day. All Day. But I folded them that way because that is what I learned, that is what I knew. Flash forward to my wild and crazy sock folding day at the ripe old age of 26 when I was doing the “I hate folding socks like this” when it struck me…. Don’t Fold Them That Way!
Don’t. Fold. Them. That. Way.
Right – I can change it! Do it the way I want! How do I want to fold my socks? I tried a couple things and found a way that seemed to achieve the quick pairing but with less stretching and I have folded socks that way since. (except for now, when I have a drawer I simply throw them in and then play the match game – but that goes into the “I hate folding laundry” post that will hopefully never surface. I don’t actually mind folding laundry, I hate the making sure it gets folded before wrinkled and then actually put away part of laundry)
I don’t know why that little epiphany took as long as it did. Really, between myself and three other members of my own family, I likely folded a LOT of socks in that 7 year period. I still have to tell myself to stop folding “socks” that way every once in a while.
Today, for instance. There have been lots of changes at my work – it seems to be the nature of the beast and sometimes I am simply not used to it. I very much have a vagabond spirit that loves New and Change but there is that balancing piece that needs Reliable Routine. So, today, a month after my boss moved to another account, I realized I could use this time to change a few things I don’t like. (See, I learn, a month from 7 years!) It occurred to me I had a few “socks” I need to re-fold here at work and I found a sense of relief in brainstorming ways that I think will work better. Not necessarily better, but better for me. My processes can be very different from other people as I do believe I have a bit of ADD in me and I’ve had to develop and use (and remember) tools to help me stay focused and successful.
So. New Day. New way to fold socks.
Must get busy now… have things to reorganize.
More Later --
Two weeks post half marathon and nearly two weeks post back injury/sprain/strain #2, there was a lovely little 5k not far from home. It was one of those "I could be outside forever" kind of days, the boys were in a good mood, happy to be outside and the crowd wasn't horrible getting into the event. Well, save for the supermarket employee driving around in her Mercedes rolling down her power windows to yell at people who were parking (behind the shopping center) "I work here!" Then maybe you should have left a little earlier, Sweetheart. Window Up.
While we had both wanted to run this one, Chris registered alone since the mean sports docs told me to give my back a week, and this 5k was just a couple days over that week. Then I arrived at the start line. Everyone had their numbers on and chips on their shoes...
I remembered the Saturday before, only two days after my back ruined my running evening, when I walked with friends for nearly a 5k... it felt good to get out and stretch everything and that weekend went well. This in mind, and the fact that I wasn't going to cross the finish line starting to really bother me, I convinced myself that I could walk the 5k. I had my running shoes on and the boys had milk, banana, poptarts and were happy... we bought me a number (yay)... I quickly pinned in on and laced the timing chip to my shoe.
We pared down the items in the stroller (because when you're pushing two 35 lb boys, the ounces of a chapstick tube Really Matter) and lined up in the start. This is it. It's a 5k and my adrenaline still pumps with excitement. I realize I didn't put my Garmin watch on to track my run, but remembered I had downloaded the Nike+ app on my phone and it does a lovely job... I prepped that and stretched my back and legs. I realize I'm wearing my newly earned "13.1" shirt I got after the Seattle Rock n Roll. I didn't realize how important those 13.1 miles would be to me forever more, but they really are.
I very well may push myself through a full 26.2 someday, I can see me wanting to conquer it, if only once. But for now, I'm feeling really excited that I finished an official 13.1 miles, on a racing course, with other racing runners. Me.
So I stand there, with my husband, who will always be much faster than me, my boys who sweetly clue in to how important running is to their Dad and I, and I look around at the people who, like me, relish getting out of bed on a Saturday morning to pin a few numbers to their shirt and run around a course that has a "Finish" sign at the end. And I breathe it in and love that I am there.
There was a particularly mean hill in the course, well, probably not terrible if you aren't pushing 80 pounds of kids and stroller... but I gave it what I had and half way up a lady felt sorry for us and grabbed one side of the stroller handle. Thanks, Lady, whoever you are... that was a huge help and I will remember it for a long time! Other than that, I ran and my legs protested at first and I reminded them they've accomplished much longer tasks so pick it up! It felt wonderful. As in, I was so happy to be back at it! The boys cheered when the crowd cheered and people admired at their crazy mom, lugging to big boys around and I simply stated I had to bring my own cheering section with me.
I don't think I will soon forget the two of them raising their little arms and cheering as we crossed the finish line that beautiful morning... that little 5k gave me back my confidence that I wasn't Done. I can get strong and go back to this strange sport that I have fallen for. And I can tell you, it brought tears to my eyes.
Kristen Armstrong, in her book "Mile Markers" writes, "I'm not a better runner because I am me, I am a better me because I am a runner"...
I'll say this for today... I did not think it would be a full acquittal. I thought they'd convict her of child neglect (but they have to charge her with it) or manslaughter... so when I heard the "not guilty" of first degree murder, I wasn't terribly surprised. But when I then heard "not guilty" on the two charges that mattered, that everyone was so certain, I gasped. Certainly, a woman who partied and enjoyed herself when her child was "missing" was not "dealing with her grief" as the defense posed. A woman who took the police to a fake nanny's address and a fake work place can't form the truth in her mouth. I'm so sad. I'm sad that Caylee died - I'm hopeful she didn't know and wasn't scared... I'm sad that the defense can pose such accusations as to let in the necessary shadow. I'm sad that, for a month, a woman walked around fine with her new lease on life, no matter how she got there.
I realize I wasn't in the courtroom I realize I didn't hear the "holes" in the case or the defense's side of the story. But I am a mom. And I saw the pictures of her parading around as though she had not a care in the world and her lovely new tattoo. My stomach turns, as it did when Susan Smith pushed her babies in the water because they were too much an imposition for her, to think what can be done to a child on purpose.
We are involved in a group of people who would Pay Anything to have their beloved children back again... and this person had such little regard for her own daughter's life that she couldn't even feign fear enough to report that she might be missing. And I'm so sad that everyone who should have been there for Caylee failed her.
I know many children die entirely too early at the hands of those who are supposed to love and protect them. And each one that I know of break my heart and make me ill for the parents who had to have something very wrong in their brain and heart to manage such cruelty.
Here's a prayer for Caylee, the Smith boys, Cody and Kevin, and so, so many little ones who play in the streets of heaven...our hearts and thoughts are all hopeful that your angel wings have flown you to a beautiful place of peace and love.
I came home and hugged my little boys tight today.