This post should really be titled "Drawings I Find Around The House While The Little Girls Are Away At School." But obviously that is a ridiculously long title. Mid-morning I found these jewels on the table mixed in with the ugliness of half-eaten breakfast remnants, spilled orange juice and some other goo I assume is Grady's yogurt, dried. This treasured artwork only makes me miss them more and wish they were only in the other room so I could call out my admiration to them.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Today Savannah's class had a field trip to Harris Center to see Jack And The Beanstalk. I rarely have one-on-one time with Savannah (I have it everyday with both Grady and Ivy because of school schedules) so I was excited to have uninterrupted conversation with this little lady and see the world from her view for a couple hours. The play was funny and the experience great, but my favorite part was having a treat just she and I before heading home to my other Littles. While we were sitting outside watching the clouds gather for a storm and talking about upcoming plans, I realized how jealous I was of Savannah. She was spending quality time with her mom, the person who adores her most in the world. I wouldn't have changed our time together right then for anything save the utterly impossible--that we switch places for just a second. To feel that nurturing love again: complete adoration from my mom. The way she used to look at me, her eyes lit up. I do sometimes find myself jealous of My Littles and the time they have with their Mom.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
This chicken costume kills me with glee.
Friday, October 25, 2013
I made a fun discovery today. Nina's is back!! She closed her Courtyard Café a few years ago, locals knew it as the ONLY place to eat lunch in Hangtown. But now, Nina And Paula: Two Cooks On Main is open and serving all Nina's original recipes including her Friday Special: Clam Chowder. EVERYTHING is tasty on the menu, the Chinese Chicken Salad is my favorite and all the sandwiches are made with homemade bread...hello Squaw Bread!
My handsome date.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
Now that The Little Girls are both in school, we have many discussions about families and what that looks like in their school community. Some kids live with both a mother and father, some are raised by an Aunt or Uncle, some are raised by single parents and some by grandparents. Because of our friendships outside of school, The Little Girls are familiar with the dynamics of a family that is fostering children, adopting children, when grandparents live under the same roof as the child's nuclear family or families with same-gendered parents. But their comfort is in fact rooted in the honesty Tim and I provide in our answers to any previous questions about any of the above family frameworks. And yes, they have explored and continue to explore any picture of a family that is different than their own because that is what littles do in order to make sense of their world.
I bring this all up because I am still tossing around a conversation I had earlier this week with a mom whose son is in Savannah's class. The little boy has been bullied this year and in turn became one himself and so he is currently suspended from school due to being a danger to others and himself. His mom was talking about what a good kid he is and how he has just gotten off track and doesn't understand what's going on with himself. I tuned out a little because she was talking about what they watch on TV and then I focused back in because she was talking about how she likes to watch Modern Family and her boys are always confused/grossed out by the two gay dads in the show. She was telling me that she and her husband always answer their boys questions by saying the dads in the show are teasing or playing a joke that they are married. She doesn't want them to take it seriously. A GIANT RED SPINNING SIREN WENT OFF IN MY HEAD. Then she asked, "What else am I going to say?" not really asking me but sort of ending the conversation. I told her that we have family friends in same-sex relationships, some who have adopted kids and live as a family just like we do. She looked at me blankly then told me how her son doesn't like his new pediatrician because he is brown. I stifled a gasp, tried not to be physically ill and busied myself by helping the teacher while knowing full well that if this Mom's little boy continues down his current path, no person outside of his own understanding of normal is safe from his bullying.
Ignorance like this can be remedied by having open, honest conversations. Whether or not you agree with someone else's lifestyle choice, political persuasion, religious affiliation or understand someone's cultural background, an open conversation with your Littles answering their questions shows them you respect, hear and value them and in turn they feel the same towards you. Maybe you aren't as blatant as I, perhaps you are tactful with "soft words". My hope is you can facilitate a discussion to provide understanding and acceptance for your Littles.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
One of the pools at the Marriott Shadow Ridge has a great water slide. Savannah has been enjoying it the past two times we visited but Ivy only wanted to go with Tim or I, never solo. But this time she saw her brother do it on Tim's lap, Jack on Jenny's, Hank on Jared's and that was it. She was ready to give it a go with her "life jest" and nose pinched.
Here is a list of favorite things about Palm Desert:
The property, Shadow Ridge.
The climate. I love the desert.
Angela and family come to visit on the weekend.
The slower pace of life.
Night walks with our little family.
I get called "dear" instead of "ma'am". I love "dear", hate "ma'am".
The shopping; thrift, outlets, boutiques and discount.
Michelle visits us midweek.
The sunrises and sunsets.
My morning run on the golf course.
Colors seem so vibrant against the brown/sandy backdrop.
Everyone is happy, in vacation mode and there is no agenda except to enjoy the list above.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
On the drive home from the desert last May, Tim and I both talked about a future trip and what that time would mean for Ivy. Our hope was she would become an independent swimmer by the end of our week-long stay. Thanks to Tim's encouragement, determination and hours practicing "glides" with her, Ivy surpassed our expectations and was swimming solo mid-week.
Monday, October 14, 2013
For Tim, "The Happiest Place On Earth" is the most miserable place on earth. But when we were planning our next trip to the desert, I felt like we needed to take The Littles back to Disneyland before Savannah realizes the characters aren't real and don't all live in the park (sorry if I just ruined that tidbit for you). There isn't anything Tim won't do for his Littles and so he risked his sanity, threw caution to the wind and got on board. And you know what? There was no bigger "kid" in the park that day than Tim. He took our Little Girls on Splash Mountain, Pirates, the Haunted Mansion (though Goo, Ivy and I had to be taken out the back door on account of the screaming and fear coming from their little faces) and other rides The Little Girls were too little for last time and too afraid to try. We were thrilled that Angela and Addie met us at the entrance when the park opened, it was cousie heaven all day.
Little Girl Cousins on herringbone pavers...oh Disney, you delighted me all day with your fancy brickwork.
Tim and Goo reminisced about Small World.
Last ride of the day: Teacups.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
My brother Jared and Tim made a deal. Tim would do the Tough Mudder with Jared if Jared read 6 books of Tim's choosing. Tim stuck to end of the deal and on Sunday these brothers-in-law completed the hardcore obstacle course.
At the starting line.
On their way to the first challenge.
The lifts to the top of the mountain were closed because of a wind advisory and besides, super sketchy with five littles so Jenny and I waited with our littles at the village below.
Three hours later we waited for them at the last two obstacles. When they came around the corner earlier than expected, we cheered proudly and with lumps in our throats. That's Jenny, Jack and Hank waving them on.
Promptly after coming across the finish line, their teeth started chattering and their body temperatures plummeted. It was a very cold day with winds at the top of the course at 50 mph. That combined with total submersion into ice water at several obstacles was a dangerous combination. Luckily we rushed them back to the cabin for warm showers and rest.
Goo shared his "big guy" with his daddy.