Saturday, April 5, 2014

Happy April

My children asked me several times on April 1st about when I would be tricking them. Didn't really feel like tricking them. Just like I didn't feel like hosting a leprechaun visit on demand a couple weeks prior. Apparently everyone else's family showered their lucky kids with gold chocolate coins and shimmery rainbows. 

I so appreciate having new time for my family with the new job. And what an eye-opening time it's been. My kids accomplish sharing by grabbing in the face of smacking. Eating is performed open-mouthed with bits of food spraying like woodchips. A few days ago I left them in the car for seconds before Violet was crying that Daisy had punched her in the arm "really really hard" and Daisy was yelling that Violet had kicked her in the face. Why?! I'm right here. We're having our family time . . . CHILL OUT!!!

When they're not doing their cavegirl things, they are making their requests. I'm not really in the frame of mind these days to hop to it whenever I hear a request. As much as I like April Fools, the only joke ideas that I thought could really trick them - no weak fake jokes for this mom - were all leading to a mess I would be cleaning up after. No thanks.

April Fool's night, I was at the park walking the dogs and saw our neighborhood ducks swimming in the rainwater that had collected in the playground that day. This one duck couple is always around and our dogs don't show interest in them so we can get pretty close.

And that's when I realized how I could trick the girls. When I returned from the park, I eagerly told the kids that our dog Scout had bit one of the ducks and I wasn't sure if our little duck buddy was OK. I was trying not to smile so I demonstrated how Scout bit down on the duck.

The girls sprinted out the door with me, running barefoot to the park in the rain. When we were getting close to one of the ducks, I proudly announced APRIL FOOLS!

The kids stopped in their tracks, whipping their heads around to stare at me with disapproval, "That is not a good joke."

But I totally got you and you wanted to be tricked!

"Mom! You don't joke about someone dying."

They're ducks . . . and they're OK!

"We were so wor-wied. Don't do that again, Mom. You not 'opposed to joke about someone getting hurt."

Oh sure, now you're civilized members of society. And yes, you're absolutely right. Let this be a lesson to you. Joking about someone getting hurt, even if it's a duck, is never funny.

My kids have been surprising me with how much they seem to be growing up in certain ways lately. Then I received this text from Tahoe, where they are with their dad this weekend:

This is Violet and me and Daisy dressed up our bears mine is the brown one and Daisy's is the white one.

And that's how it is with everyone, isn't it? Just when you think you know someone, they'll show another side.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Spring seems to be the right time to savor the new. Like when the dueling sisters of drama greeted each other in peace on Daisy's return from 5th grade science camp. That same afternoon, Violet tried out a dance that involved sashaying across the room to kick her older sister in the shin. Still, neither girl cried or shrieked throughout the skirmish, a subtle yet promising shift.

I've traded 2+ hours of daily commute time to Silicon Valley for a local job. Here.

At seven, Violet has become a fervent Beatles fan. You can guess which Beatle is her favorite. Every day, she listens to the Beatles, tells stories about the Beatles, and asks questions about the Beatles - often simultaneously until I cry uncle. When I picked her up from school last week, she literally told me to turn off my "modern music," what most youngfolk are calling hip hop these days, because she only liked old music like the Beatles. Violet's additions to my pandora have shifted from One Direction Radio, Imagine Dragons Radio, and The Hosemobile Radio to The Beatles Radio, Imagine Radio, and Elton John Radio. 

At ten, Daisy boldly attempts to make clothes with no real sewing experience. Finding her a sewing mentor is on my list. Holding up various tools and fabric tonight, she asked me repeatedly, "Is it worth doing it this way?" Uhhhh . . . no clue. And, by the way, nice to meet you preteen who is starting middle school in the fall.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Hills Are Alive

New job starts tomorrow.

Those words rest lightly on a mountain of learning, love, mistakes, accomplishments, sacrifice, and gain. Oh yeah, I'm bringing the mountain metaphor for my most recent job and this is no idyllic Sound of Music mountain; it's craggy.

But some of the craggiest peaks allow for the greatest of perspectives. And, even if  this peak isn't gentle enough for Julie Andrews to run comfortably around in circles, she could still sing while hanging off the side, perhaps anchored momentarily by her tattered climbing gear. It was time to get off that mountain.

So, new job.

Daisy expressed her hope multiple times today that no one would make fun of me tomorrow. I finally had to ask: how do you think I'm going to embarrass myself?

She thought about it and made the sincere wish I would not split my pants on my first day.

I pointed out I rarely wear pants to work. But if I were to wear pants, how would I split them?

Daisy wasn't sure but she refocused her concerns on what I would be packing my lunch in. She asked me several times, "What does your lunchbox look like?"

I don't know - I'll just use something we already have.

Daisy shook her head sadly, "Oh Mom. I hope no one makes fun of you."

Me too.

Before bed, when I'm sure the kids were a little tired after a long day of errands and our Spring Ahead morning, Daisy voiced her final concern of the day: "I hope you don't fall in a volcano tomorrow." She repeated her concern several times until neither her little sister nor I could ignore her.

Violet was emotional, "Stop saying Mom is going to fall in a volcano! I'm scared!!!"

You think I'm going to be seeing volcanoes tomorrow?

Daisy explained generously, "I'm picturing your head as a ball of iron and you just fall in the volcano."

"STO-OP DAISY! STOP TALKING!!!! I'm wor-wied!"

But I'm not going to be around volcanoes. And my head is not a ball of iron.

"Sure, Mom. Just let me know how it goes. We'll know for sure tomorrow.


Let's just all be quiet. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I've been meaning to get my kids to the basketball half-courts in the park across the street from our condo for over a year now. We're at the park playground often but it took me a while to realize the green netting in the distance was a water treatment plant instead of tennis courts so maybe I'm not the most tuned into sport facilities.

Daisy announced recently that basketball is really important to her fifth grade teacher and that she's so bad at it that her teacher told her to practice outside school. I was like GREAT, I just downloaded Couch to 5K so exercise is obviously part of our family routine in a new way now. You will get that ball practice.

Today, I located our cute family basketball that we had never actually used before and marched my daughters over to the park. I started Daisy off on dribbling on our way there. Violet immediately spazzed out with jealousy, grabbing the ball away from her big sister before fumbling and almost tripping over it then bouncing it against a curb so hard she took herself out. I could see we had a few things to work on.

But I haven't played basketball in a long, long time. The last time I can remember that wasn't at Chuck E. Cheese was probably a decade ago. And did I mention I'm not much of an athlete? Still, my dribbling looked like butter compared to my offspring. I gave them lots of encouragement but I also celebrated my victory loudly from the half courts when I beat them in PIG. In your face, kids.

Later, on a walk, Daisy turned to me, "So you got that good from watching TV?"

I didn't know what she was talking about but I liked the sound of her question . . . so good at what?


Oh I didn't learn that from TV! Just played growing up. Not on a team. Just for fun.

Daisy clarified, "I thought you would stink. But you're really good. You make a lot of baskets."

I hesitated but realized it was probably the last time in her life she would think her mom was a good athlete. Why ruin the moment? Like mother, like daughter.

Yeah, all it takes is practice.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Belly Shot

I so regret not making a plaster of my pregnant belly.

The possibilities are amazing.

I tried to prevent Tabitha from having the same regret but she was deaf to my concerns. Not surprising, since Tabitha's friends weren't allowed to even give her a baby shower. We did cooperate with her wishes at our gathering at Amy's this weekend. No delicious baby food tasting games or hilarious guessing the girth of the pregnant girl. It was so not a baby shower that when a few presents were brought out, Quinn turned to me, "But I thought this wasn't a baby shower."

My secret goal this weekend was to capture Tabitha's belly. She's far enough along that you can see the baby moving. And even though late pregnancy seems like it will never end when you go through it, it's really a brief bright moment in life. But Tabitha, who told me she was offended when I described her as glowy, will not have any fuss around Boy, what she wants us to call him for now.

So maybe you can understand why I was thrilled to capture this intimate moment.

Getting a chance to feel Tabitha's belly - and I don't want to brag but there might have been some under the shirt action - was equivalent in normal people's standards to getting to plaster her belly and decorate it with a symbolic montage of each stage of her pregnancy, as well as the love story that made this baby possible, while breaking into spontaneous, communal song celebrating our feelings about Boy. It was that touching.

Welcome, Boy <3

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Texts from Violet

Mommy I'm drawing unicorns right now.
What are you doing right now mommy?

I'm thinking about you drawing unicorns. 
My phone may lose power today so tell daddy I'll pick you up at 8:30 

OK love you and why?

I forgot the charger. Love u too

Mommy you mean you left the charger here?

No at home in sv

Oh you at work mama

Yes I'm at work :) I'll pick u up at 8:30

Oh I love you and how long until 8:30

7 hours