Thursday, May 28, 2009

3,000 Words

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shades of Grey

My hair is slowly starting to turn grey.  Sigh.  

I first noticed this change about two years ago, when thinking about how I would wear my hair for my dear Karyn's wedding, I put on my lotus (purple) dress, pulled my hair this way and that (as every girl does), only to find that just above my right eyebrow were three squirrley strands of hair that were not dark brown.  My best friend was getting married, I was the BFotB (Best Friend of the Bride aka Matron of Honor), and I didn't want everyone to see my three matronly grey hairs, so I dyed my whole head dark brown.  That was the most logical step, right?

In hindsight, I am fully aware of the melodrama and have not dyed my hair since.  Therefore, in an effort delay my premature aging, I began to pluck these three indignant hairs.  However, recently I have discovered that I have grey hairs all over my head! Some, that if I weren't inspecting my head in the mirror during Natalie's tubby time, I would never notice.  And these are not tiny little hairs, these are grey hairs that have been growing for some time - they are the same length as the rest of my beautiful, dark, young colored hair.  At some point, which has really already passed, I am not going to be able to pluck all these hairs.  Deeper sigh.

To dye or not to dye?  This is really more maintenance than I am able to embrace.  Next I will be wearing make-up everyday and then getting weekly you see how this snowballs?  But I am not ready to embrace the grey hair just yet either.  Woe.  I suppose I should just be happy that I have hair at all, but while I may not be a hair color maintenance kind of girl, I am not a martyr either.  But I am writing an entire post on my measurable greys, so perhaps, I am one of those girls.  Sigh.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Cult

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I like to take up hobbies. 

Years ago, I decided that I would try to form my own cult.  Why not?  How terrible could it be to have people worship me and follow my every command?  You might not believe this, but it did not take off as I had expected.   I was living in a house of highly opinionated boys, who didn't really take me all that seriously.   I did manage to brainwash a man and a half (Dan wasn't willing to fully commit).  His friend, Jay, signed up and stayed right on board.  In fact, just yesterday he reminded me of my cult, which I had forgotten about in order take part in proper hobbies and children, life, whatnot...

But as I signed on today, to create a new post and I saw my little army of followers with pictures and profiles.  I thought to myself, Not bad, Kristen.  I have my cult afterall.  World domination to follow.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mini Me

I think, for women who choses to have children, every girl needs a girl.  Not that having a boy isn't wonderful.  It so is.  In fact, I thought that I would have a few more years before Natalie turned into a full on "Daddy's Girl", but she is 100% there, so it is nice to have a little boy who is in love with me.  Even if only because I provide the food--I'll take it.

I don't know if all mothers the following statement, with disturbing delight, "I hope you have a child just like you."  This isn't the kind of hope, like, "I hope my child is incredibly smart, attractive, talented, etc."  This is a kind of sinister hope, that is delivered with an evil glint in their eye.  We were little, really how bad could we have been?  I mean, I fear my daughter as a teenager, but a child?

Well, whenever we are with my mother and Natalie behaves less than wonderfully, my mother smirks, with that what goes around, comes around attitude.   The thing is, Natalie is acting like the person I am now, with all my crazy idiosyncrasies and quirky attributes.  Things that one would not normally see in themselves, but I have this human mirror who says and does some of the most insane things, which when I ask where she learned that or why she does that, I later on catch myself doing the exact same thing. 

Just the other day, Natalie and I were driving somewhere and she says to me, "Well Mom, I have good news and bad news, which do you want first?"  Or when she she puts one hand on her hip and the other in the air, "What do ya say we make a deal?"

So I guess my mother's wish came true, in a way.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blue Skies

It's so obvious: the title, the picture... But yesterday Natalie was at school (after a very long four day weekend), the Bro needed to take a nap, and I needed some exercise/quiet time.  So, I packed Joey up in the stroller and we headed on a short little jaunt around the neighborhood.  The best part of this walk is that, as impossible as it seems, it is uphill both ways- I kid you not.  As Joey headed off to a wonderful place of slumber, and I did my best to keep a healthy cadence, I literally basked in the sun and thought about how charmed my life is.  Here I am with my beautiful little child, on this perfectly gorgeous day-- 75, sunny, with a light breeze, seriously does it get any better?  I couldn't help but sing in my head, "Blue Skies Smiling at Me" and it made me happy.

I hope you all find your happiness today. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Day in the Life

7:30 am  - Roll out of bed after yet another night of interrupted sleep
7:31 am - Get the Bro Bro out of bed and diaper changed, first cup of coffee
8ish am - Let the dog out, prep breakfast for Natalie, if a school day make lunch
8:30ish am - Coerce Natalie into her room to change for the day attempting to influence but not inhibit her fashion choices
9 am - Bro Bro's 9 o'clock nap 
9:30 am - Bro Bro is up, fed, and changed into something dapper for the day.  I, too, need to get changed as well
10am - Pack it up, pack it in - out to the car, errands, etc.  Today we headed to Natalie's "interview" for school.  That's right, my four-year-old had an interview, application, fee...I don't know if I should brag or be disgusted.
10:30am - "Interview" ends up being yet ANOTHER tour of the school.  "They" say three is a charm.
11:20am - Head home, thankfully prepared with snacks, Natalie eats on the go.
11:50am - Arrive home, feed the bro, changed head out to "Spanish Culture Class"
12pm - Arrive at Spanish Culture Class only to find that the time has been changed to 11:15am.  Errrr.   Second cup of coffee ensues.  Head to playground.
12:15 - 1:40pm - Playground, sandbox, repeat.
2ish pm - Arrive home with massive headache.  Consume Pirate's Booty and Jelly Bellies in an effort to reverse pain.  To my surprise, pain continues.
3ish - Finally give in and take some pain reliever.  I must look really bad because Dan, working from home, offers to take the kids so I can lay down.  Mental note - need more headaches for nap in the middle of the day.
4-4:30ish pm- Get out of bed after being interrupted twice by Natalie's ice cold feet all over my body.  Bro Bro fed and changed. Down for 5 o'clock nap
4:45pm - Natalie and I head outside to color and play on swing set.
5:15pm - Bro Bro is up and we are back outside.  Natalie falls off the swing, kissed, pats, all better.  Quick bike ride around the neighborhood.
5:40ish pm - Get dinners started.  That's right dinnerS because I indulge my daughter.
6ish - Dinner on the table
7ish - Bro Bro changed, jams, fed.  Down for the night (ha ha)  Natalie in the tub.
7:05pm - pacifier back in bro's mouth
7:07 pm - pacifier back in bro's mouth
7:12 pm - pacifier back in bro's mouth
7:20 pm - Natalie out of tub, dried, jams
7:30pm - Natalie set up with shows, back to the kitchen to clean up dinner.
8 pm - "The dishes are done, man"  Natalie requests that I watch a show with her.  I comply.
8:30pm - Potty, teeth, Nat to bed.  Negotiate two short stories.  Rubbies.  Attempt to convince her if she closes her eyes and goes to sleep she won't know she is lonely in her room.
8:45pm - Shower
9pm - Load of laundry in, load of laundry out, fold. (albeit while watching tv)
10/10:30pm - Bro Bro awakes unhappy about something.  Soothe.  Back to bed.
11pm - In bed, read for fifteen or watch for fifteen, either way, I am only going to make it for fifteen.
1:30 am - Bro Bro up, fed, changed, back to bed.
2:30am - Little girl with cold feet nudges her way into the middle of my bed.
4:30am - Bro Bro up, fed, back to bed
6:30am - Bro Bro up, possible poop, falls back to sleep
7am - Bro Bro up, "talking" until 7:30 when I reluctantly roll out of bed - again.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Happiest, Most Stressful and Exhausting Place on Earth

I often have moments during the day, when I think that this parenting gig is really too hard, and I am just not cut out for it.  Of course, there is really no turning back now and, at the end of each day when the cherubs are asleep and I have a moment of quiet, I realize how lucky I am to have two beautiful children, who for the most part - at least in public - well behaved.

We just took our first family vacation to "The Happiest Place on Earth", that's right Disney World.  If you ever feel you are inadequate as a parent, you too should go to Disney World.  It is filled with reminders that children are not so different nor are their parents.  No matter what time of day or where we were, there was always some child in the midst of a complete meltdown and a parent, hot and tired, trying to deal with it.  Often with the empty threat, "Then I guess we will just have to leave the park." Or some version thereof.  We were not above saying this same thing to Natalie at least once a day.  

The beauty of this vacation was the reminder that it isn't just me or my kids.  It is all part of the game.  Of course, if Disney is going to continue to lead people to believe that it is, in fact, "The Happiest Place" they need to find a way to create outside air conditioning and less waiting.  

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"You know what my dad always said..."

When I decided to start blogging - laying it all out there in a way that is so not who I am - I knew that at some point I was going to have to honor my father.  A blogger himself, I think he would have liked to have seen me take this on.  This past week marked the end of our first year without him, so I thought that it timely that I write about him now.  Oddly, the year mark was no sadder than any other day,  with all the monumental, significant things that have happened in the wake of his absence, I have missed him every day, usually at the 6 o'clock hour when The Bro Bro (his namesake) and I are having some quiet time in his room. Weddings, engagements, births...everything was bittersweet.  Even the little things, the way we decorated the Bro Bro's room, the artwork I created for it, I miss the validation that I got from him...but ultimately a list of the things he wasn't here for is in no way the proper memorial for my father.  His rationale was, as morbid as it is, "We are all born to die."  

I am not a spiritual person, my faith in most everything is weak, but I do believe that he is still with us.  In fact, every time I speak with my brother, he sounds more and more like my father.  So much so, that sometimes I need to get off the phone because it creeps me out.  More importantly, there are life lessons from my father that Dan and I find govern our day to day, reminding us that his legacy does indeed live on.  Often we find ourselves in moments of quandary saying to each other, "You know what my dad always said..."
  1. Enjoy life, drink it in (literally), you can't take any of it with you when you go.
  2. Breakfast is a meal like any other - ham sandwiches are game.
  3. If you can smell it, it's done.
  4. If you don't have leftover food, you didn't make enough.
  5. You need to open your eyes and move things around.
  6. Leave things the way you found them or else be woken up at some god forsaken hour to fix it.
  7. If you say you need to be picked up at a certain time, you better be ready or you will be left behind.
  8. You will always have people in your life with more - more money, more house, more car - get over it.
  9. If you forget it, you can always buy a new one.
And the MOST importantly that which Dan and I fall back on regularly:

     10. Should you have failed to make enough food... "You can always order a pizza."