Thursday, December 6, 2007

Frogs and such

I had an un-scheduled and un-planned (not to mention un-wanted!) visit at the doctor's today and while there, I read the following poem:

May the light always find you
on a dreary day.
When you need to be home
may you find your way.
May you always have courage
to take a chance,
And never find frogs in your
underpants.

Heh.

(I googled it to find the author and got all sorts of options from an Irish toast to a middle-aged Scandinavian. Just to get the plagiarism-issue out of the way.)

So here's to light, joy, good directions, courage and no frogs! Happy December!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Happy December 1st!

I love December - the lights, the anticipation of the holidays, the foods, friends and family gatherings, etc...yay! It's December! :) I took these photos of the kids last night to celebrate. Actually, I took like 60 photos, of which none were fabulous and few were usable, but I've decided that since my kids are much faster than my iso, I will just enjoy what I can get. So here's to little elves and the joy of Christmas.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy Happy Birthday!

Today my little sister turns 26. I'd sing, but honestly, no one wants to even read about me singing - I actually made a baby cry at church on Sunday - I was holding while her mom was leading the music and as soon as I started singing, she began to cry. So no song. But many, many happy wishes. I can't believe you're actually 26. That makes me - anyway - I can't believe you're actually 26! :) I am so sad I'm not home to celebrate with you - you already know I miss you tons, but let me just reiterate: I miss you! Give some thought to the Boston idea. Really! I think you should go to Boston. Happy birthday, Princess. I love you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, btw :)

Due to my previously mentioned writers' block I never got around to wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful time with family and it was nice to reflect on what I am thankful for. Here are a few things off my list (in no particular order): Sam and Lucas, my kind, hard-working and funny husband (yeah, yeah, now you have it in writing...maybe I should consult my legal counsel on any potential disclaimers I need to add...;), prayer, a loving Heavenly Father, the Atonement (!!!), my old and my new family, my sister and my two newer sisters, yoga, good books, sleep, photographs, friends, laughter, my little apartment, IKEA (heh), did I mention sleep?, my mac, improving, being able to learn and so much, much more. It does add up when you begin to think about it. I think I will take the time to write an extensive list sometime soon.

Here are two of my blessings hamming it up:

kura sie na mnie patrzy...

I realize that a very limited group of readers (read: one) will even get the reference above, but sometimes there's only one way of describing something just right. I have been having some writers' block because I suddenly realized that people were actually reading this. Someone commented on something they had read on here and my brain went into the thought spiral...Where did they get that? Do people think that about me? Maybe it's true? The voice inside my head occasionally gets this panicky edge to it, which is most often followed by a complete inability to accomplish anything and so I haven't written anything in a while.

I don't know where in my childhood I found this ridiculous notion that everybody must like me in order for me to be an ok person. I'm still trying not to care, but sometimes I slip. Do they have groups for this? Hi, my name is Sara and I want people to like me. The 13 steps for recovering insecures...Yes, I realize I just invented a word, but I was too busy founding IA to look up an existing one that fit the purpose.

Anyway - part of my recovery process is to bring this blog back to what I originally intended it to be - an outlet for my thoughts. I realize that is not even remotely as interesting as pictures of my fabulous kids (no insecurities there :) ) so I'll make sure to post some of those as well.

And finally - do they have chickens in Boston? If not, when are we going, sis?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Brotherly Love

It makes me all warm and fuzzy to see my boys love each other. Partly because it's fabulous to witness a budding friendship and partly because so much of the time I have to break up various skirmishes between them. A little love gives me great hope for these little monkeys!

Monday, November 5, 2007

If it's not one thing...

I just learned about bisphenol-a this weekend. Somehow I have managed to be completely unaware of this substance that is found in many plastic items - like bottles and sippy cups. You'd think that manufacturers would be held to some sort of ethic/ moral/ legal code and keep potentially dangerous and poisonous things out of items that our children use on a daily basis, right? (Cough-lead-cough...). But no such luck. Bisphenol-a is an endocrine disruptive chemical compound.
Check this out: Zrecs Report
On one hand, I want to dismiss it and live happily ever after with my cheapo plastic sippy cups. Like someone snidely remarked to me yesterday, I "can't shelter my kids their entire life - they will be exposed to toxins and mean people." On the other hand, I guess I'd rather be a little nutty and spend 16 dollars on a BPA-free sippy cup than worry about my little guys. Besides, with all the toxins and mean people they're going to meet, I better limit the other dangers in their life, right? (Yeah, yeah, still working on getting over the patronizing sting of that comment.)
All right - off to spend my dollars on safe(r) cups...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween

Singing the House-buying Blues

As most of you know, we found a house that we fell in love with. We went through negotiations, mortgage applications, etc and all was well and good. All that was left was the house inspection, which was supposed to be easy as here didn't seem to be any big problems with the house. Until we wanted to buy it, of course - then the problems came out of the woodworks. (Fortunately not in a disgusting literal way, but you surely get the idea here.)
Anyway - it turned out the electrical outlets weren't grounded, the roof needed immediate replacement, the downstairs a/c unit spewed out black speckles when you turned it on, there would be a hole in the yard when they removed their pool, it needed lots of updating - and to top it off, the radon test came back positive. I think that's what did it for me. We were ready to put effort into this house and fix it up; we were even ready to work through the electrical issue when we found out about it, but the carcinogenic, radioactive natural gas seeping through the ground into the house set me over the edge. I actually had a minor melt-down today, wishing myself back to a place where things were simpler - and the environmental laws stricter. Sigh. I guess, there's always going to be something, right? Ultimately, after much agonizing and some praying, we both feel good about walking away from this house. I guess, it wasn't meant to be. Such a cute house though. Is it really too much to ask for some sort of star showing the way to where I should raise my children? Preferably radon, asbestos and lead-free? ;) Mostly kidding there - I know that's not how it works. And I really do feel that God is guiding us along; sometimes, it's just challenging to only see a few steps ahead. Sigh.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin Festival - Keene, NH

Some of our friends told us about Keene's annual pumpkin festival, and as we are trying to truly experience New England, we decided to pack up the monkeys and venture up there. (Over? Still not quite sure about New England geography...) It was a great day - there were probably 30.000 pumpkins carved in all sorts of crazy ways, the weather was incredible and the colors! I can't even describe it - New England's way too many trees dress up in amazing reds, yellows, orange, etc and redeem themselves and their overwhelming presence. It looks like the landscape is on fire. Absolutely breathtaking.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Weird weather!!

In my last post I mentioned how we wore shorts on Saturday in Kent. Well, today I had to turn my heat on and put Luke in flannel pjs to keep him warm. The temperature dropped and it's super cold and windy. And that reminds me, I left my remaining struggling (and somehow still green) tomatoes out on the vine. Argh - I am so not Martha Stewart. I'm all out of excuses and am taking my cold feet to bed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Autumn in CT

This year we have finally gotten around to do some of the things that CT offers in the fall. Today we went to Lyman Orchards to pick apples - apples were great, the cider donuts delicious, the company delightful - and I don't have a single good picture to show for it. OOF! Here are a few of the best. (And no, there is nothing wrong with you screen - they are slightly out of focus. Sigh.)







Here are a couple from Minor's Farm in Bristol where we try to get pumpkin pictures every year. Try being the operative word - for some reason something goes awry every time...A couple of this year's best:




And finally, here are some pictures from Kent, CT. It's this quaint little town in Litchfield county with cute shop and at this time, gorgeous fall foliage. Evan and I took the boys there last Saturday because we were told that you can get the best hot chocolate in New England at a small cafe there. Well, the observant reader may have noticed that my children are wearing shorts and t-shirts in these pictures. Not so much hot chocolate weather, no. We hit a whopping 89 Degrees F Saturday (30 Degrees C) - I think that's a record for October. And if not, it's still absolutely crazy and very, very warm!
In any case, we bagged the hot chocolate idea and had ice cream and iced chocolates instead. It was delectable. Smile...(Although my husband confessed that he actually prefers the crappy SwissMiss chocolate to the real kind. Eeew. Can you un-brainwash taste buds?!?)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

meez

I found this fun site that totally speaks to my girlie, play dress-up, Barbies, etc.-side: www.meez.com I am a total geek but I had so much fun creating a "mini-me". OK, cut a girl some slack! All I get to play with at my house are bionicles. No, wait - I also get to make car-noises. Wroom....So I had fun creating my meez. Here she is:


Friday, October 5, 2007

family

I took this picture of my mom when I was home - She always complains that she looks terrible in photos so I took the liberty of playing with PSE a bit. I figure, if models can be retouched, so can we! Heh. (I have to say, though, she was beautiful in the original picture too. Yes, you were!)




And here is one of my favorite crazy girl. Isn't it fabulously ironic that I wasted so many years fighting with my sister and now that she is my best friend, she lives 3000 miles away? Uf.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

You get what you get - and you don't throw a fit.

That's what I tell my son when he cries "unfair" or other such complaints about life and its curve balls. Last week, I realized that it doesn't just apply to him. A little background on my eureka-moment:

I went to book club last week with some girls from church. I hadn't read the book, so I wasn't sure I should go, but it was in my apartment complex, one of my friends was hosting and it was at a girl's house, who always makes the best desserts. All good reasons to get out the the couch, no?
So I went and spent a lot of time listening to everyone discussing the book (Me and Emma) and I learned so much from what was said. I think what really stood out to me, was something, I discussed recently with one of my friends, that she repeated at the book club: Life is also the bad stuff. It's not just the good that happens and if we are unlucky/ unblessed/ unwhatever we get hammered with bad - no, the bad is as much part of our life as the good. the challenge doesn't lie in avoiding the bad stuff. (Except for the things which we can avoid, obviously. I am certainly not advocating seeking out bad stuff. That would just be stupid.)
Anyway - the challenge lies in dealing with what happens to us in a graceful, faithful way. Or in other words - you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. So much easier said than done!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cultural Differences, Guilt and Vacation

How do those go together, you might ask? Well, In my 10 days away from home I have had some time to think and my observations included the three topics mentioned above.
First off, guilt. I mentioned earlier I would dedicate an entire post to it, but as the days have gone by here, I have felt less guilty for being away, so I won't. Ha! I've decided to try to do my best instead and deal with the fact that I am not perfect. Somehow, that has always been difficult for me - for some reason I feel that if I can't do something just right them I a total failure and shouldn't even try. I have no idea where that's come from, but there it is. Now I am trying to finally overcome it; of course picking the time after I have kids to cope with this particular issue. Go figure - I think even normal people have an added amount of permanent guilt when they have kids - am I doing this right? Making the right choices? Messing up my kids? Looking at huge therapy bills in the future? Lots of questions, not many answers. Except just do your best. So I'm trying. We'll see how that goes.

Now on to cultural differences. It's mainly just a funny little insight into two western cultures that seem similar on the surface but are very different as you delve in deeper. When I told people I was leaving by myself for 10 days, many people in the US got a little quiet, then wondered how that would go for Evan, then wondered if that wasn't a long time to be away from my kids. (I should mention, I have a few friends who were very excited for me. Thanks for making me feel less insane, A and J!) It really got to me as I was about to leave and I was stressing out and even doubting my husband as a caretaker of the kids. Then I got to Denmark and everyone thought it was agreat idea that I got to go and visit my family without the kids. I still missed my kids terribly but I began to feel better about my decision. And then I went to church and met an old friend, who is originally from Colombia. She told me that she recently went home by herself for a couple of weeks and as I tried to convince her that I really did miss my kids, she made a quick list of the blessings of going by yourself - time to visit with family, a long stress-free flight, to need to worry about kids in a new time-zone, etc etc. I felt better instantly. Nobody in Denmark doubted that a father would - or should - be able to take care of his own children for a few weeks. I think, that's when I realized it must be a cultural difference. In DK, the father is as much a parent as the mother, expected to take walks with his kids, change diapers, clean their rooms - basically be a part of their lives. In the US, the expectation seems to be that the mother does all these things and if the father "helps" he is going above and beyond what he is meant to do. I am fascinated by this difference and its implications in my daily life.
I realize that with only one parent working the balance shifts a bit, but I am so blessed to have a husband who wants to be a part of his children's daily lives and who understands how important that is for them. And me - Imagine we get to share this incredible journey of parenthood together. Thanks, E, for being who you are. And thanks for giving me this opportunity not only to visit my family (which has been so amazing!) but also to trust you more as a parent. It has been wonderful to talk to the kids on the phone and hear how happy they are with their dad. And it has been great to let go and still know that things are okay. I guess along with the guilt I could work on being a control freak...Because fact is, that the kids are happy. They are fed, they are dressed (although their clothes may not match...;) and the permanent marker is a decorative addition to our computer screen. Heh. So thanks, for letting me go. I look forward to hugging you all again.

And with that, this has gotten sooooo long that any reader is probably sleeping by now, but I had to get these thoughts out and this is my place to do so. I love my blog!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I'm off to see the wizard...

Sort of, that is. I am actually in Denmark, visiting my family. I got to go for ten days all by my self while Evan watches the boys. At first, I was just excited, then I was all upset about leaving the boys and now that I am here, I am enjoying myself and yet missing my kids and my husband. It seems that I will always be torn this way - always missing someone no matter where I am. In comparison I am lucky of course. Unlike the first emmigrants to America, I actually get to go back and visit and I can have phone and email contact to those I love here. It's still hard, though.
It's so funny, how I feel guilty about feeling bad about something because other people do have it much worse than I. I wonder if that's because a) I really should feel bad and stop whining because I have no right to feel bad or b) because I just feel guilty about everything anyway. Someone I know always addresses my concerns/ complaints with a listing of how lucky I am and how I should focus on that. And that's true - but somehow it still annoys me a bit because does that mean my pain is less real if someone else hurts more? Oy! Someone once told me that your pains are still real to you - even if someone else's are worse and without wallowing in self-pity it's okay to struggle and hurt. I think I'll go with that. And then I'll feel guilty about that too, probably. The guilt-issue deserves it's own entry entirely though, so I'll get back to that.
Meanwhile I am enjoying seeing my family and visiting with a few old friends. I am mainly just hanging out around the house and talking with family and I love it. It's good to see them again!

Monday, August 20, 2007

My Brother's Keeper



Luke was sick today and we let him watch a show since nothing else could get his mind off his aches and fever. Sam crawled up on the chair next to him and put his arm around him. My heart swells when I see them love each other so - even though it may often be interspersed with bopping each other on the head with heavy objects, I feel that they have a true friend forever in one another. As my mom always says - blood is thicker than water. (Although you probably have to be Ashkenazi Jewish to make any sense of that :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I am Marianne

I am Marianne Dashwood!


Take the Quiz here!




Okay, so I can't actually sing and definitely can't tell a pianoforte from a piano, but the rest I agree with. Heh. Fun quiz, A. And I'm in for a girlie Austen movie night!

My Beautiful Boy




So I realize I may not be the most objective observer, but seriously - isn't he cute?!?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Home Sweet Home!

We just made it back after a loooong day of traveling home from our cruise. Will post details and pics later. I am so exhausted and can't quite remember what possessed me to think it would be a great idea to lock myself into an enclosed space with Lucas for hours on end. Argh. I think he is banned from airplanes for the next few years...OK, maybe months, if he is on good behavior. We did have good trip though. And it's good to be back!

Friday, July 20, 2007

HARRY! HARRY! HARRY!

Only a few more hours to go till the last installment in the Harry Potter series comes out. Yes, I suspect this makes it official - I am "one of those people." And I can barely contain myself from mere excitement.
I had never even heard of Harry until after Evan and I got married and he mentioned it while we were in Denmark. I picked up the first couple of books at the library in Cph and I was hooked. I absolutely adore JK Rowling's writing. The little clues, the brilliant comments that make you laugh out loud - and of course the story line of good versus evil, friendship and importance of taking responsibility for your choices. Ah.
Of course, I may feel differently if there is a miserable ending and too many unresolved issues. Even writing this is making me shiver with anticipation. I am such a geek! But I have to say, it's not just Harry and co. that make me feel this way. Any well-written book transports me into it's universe, and gives me a thrill. I guess this is the closest I get to drugs - that feeling of being "high" when you have read an amazing book. I am so grateful for literature. (okay - for good literature...:) ) Heh. All I can say is - bring on the drugs, Rowling. I am counting down the hours.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thank you, A!

I have a friend who challenges me to get better at the things I love to do and thanks to her I finally got out my psE book and started practicing. Here's my first attempt:



Not that he really needs editing, seeing as he is of course perfect, but still. ;)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Please pray...

OK, so after writing the previous post, I called one of my friends whose little boy is very very ill and currently in the hospital where the doctors are trying to diagnose him. (They think it's a blood disorder, but can't quite get there with the results of the tests.) He is the sweetest little boy and his family is so kind and amazing - and it totally breaks my heart to hear what they are going through. It makes me ashamed that I can be so self-absorbed and worried about the BAR when there are people whose children are suffering. Argh. On the other hand, I can't dwell on it too much, because it makes me literally nauseated to think of their heart ache and struggle. I wish I could help. I wish children didn't get seriously ill. I wish wishes made Dayne better.
Our congregation at church is having a fast for him tomorrow. Should anyone read this, please pray for him as well.

I think we should reinstate polygamy - Or the post also know as: 2 months of BAR-prep has officially caused me to lose my mind...

These past two months have been ridiculous. I have never prided myself on much strength in carrying the load by myself and while Evan has been studying for the BAR I have realized exactly how much I depend on him during our everyday life. When he is working or when he was studying before there were always weekends, or at least Sundays and evenings. Now, as he is completely consumed by the preparations for the BAR, I find myself floundering in my attempts to take care of the kids (without letting them watch too many hours of t.v.) and the house (without letting it get too nasty...) as well as the cooking, shopping, etc - all by myself and without losing my mind entirely. And no one else seems to get it, unless they have lived through it themselves. People make comments about him overdoing it, or think I am exaggerating when I say he is never around - but the amount of material he has to memorize is immense (21 subjects, most of which was never taught with the BAR in mind in law school...), so I get that he has to study. I am just not good at single-mothering it.

It was in the middle of such a day, where the laundry was piling up, there was food all over the floor, things were falling, spilling and practically doing the conga around me, while the kids were whining and making the "UH" noise very demandingly (at least Lucas was) that it dawned on me that polygamy really doesn't seem like such a bad idea after all. No, no - hear me out. I don't mean the creepy marrying under-age girls against their will and forcing them to live on a scary compound without hair dryers-kind. More like having an extra set of (not under-age) hands here where we are - Imagine having help with the laundry, the grocery shopping, the cooking, the laundry, the cleaning, the kids, the laundry...AH! That way everyone would have less chores and more time to do what they wanted. Heh. OK, I realize the whole sharing of the husband thing might be uncomfortable, but honestly I have barely seen mine for two months as it is. Blech.

Jokes aside, I am so grateful for friends and family who have helped keep me semi-sane these past two months. And I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who helps me keep things in perspective and reminds me that it's all good, everyone healthy and that I need to not be a wimp. Nothing like deity to put you in your place, eh?!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Will You Walk into my Parlor -

Said the Spider to the Fly...

We haven't been very good at having people over for dinner. Part of it is that I feel so terribly inadequate when it comes to cooking - I just fear that they'll hate the food and leave, never wanting to come back. Yes, I know - I have issues. (I am working on those, I promise!) Another part of it is just life getting busy and by evening and weekends, Evan and I are soooo tired.
Well, in the spirit of adventure and trying new things, we invited some friends over for dinner last night. All sorts of fun, right? At least until their little boy bent down to pick up a toy and slammed his forehead into the corner of my coffee table, creating a gash big enough that it was borderline in need if stitches.
To their credit, they stayed for dinner and we did have a lovely time. (After having kind M.D. neighbors check out the "wound".) But it makes me wonder why I am not one of those people who can have a beautiful 3 course meal prepared, center piece and all, with no near emergency room visits. I suppose I should aspire to at least making one course well first. And then maybe work on keeping my guests safe. Walk in to my parlor indeed!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

And blah blah blah

Sometimes, when things get busy and everyday life takes over, I forget how smart my son is - and how everything gets soaked into that brain of his. The other day, Sam and I were at work (which is an entire post in itself and I promise I will write about it) and between students, I was reading a story to Sam. We had just graded another student and I picked up the book again. The following conversation ensued:

Me: "OK, Sam, where were we?" ( I often ask him this when we have a story or book going to keep him involved.)
Sam: "Well, Lucia had just climbed the mountain and found the trolls and they turned to stone and blah blah blah."

OK, so to the casual observer, this may not be mensa material, but I was completely taken back by his recap and correct application of 'blah blah blah' as well as completely endeared by the cheeky look in his eyes. It was a great reminder that I need to pay attention to Sam and his development even when Lucas is discovering the world and changing in leaps and bounds. Monkeys, I say. Monkeys!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Anger

Why is it so easy to get angry sometimes? And so hard to stop? I wish I could sprinkle myself with pixie dust and then never yell at my kids again. or lose my temper about trite details. Would the world be a better place if people never got angry? Or do we need anger to provoke change? If we didn't get angry about details, would we be angry about injustice, crime and suffering? Would we change anything in the world without anger? Would we be able to do it just with love?
I think this entire discussion is a lame attempt at making myself feel better about getting angry...I try to tell myself it is a step above apathetic, but myself isn't really buying it today. If someone has the recipe for that pixie dust, I'm game.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I can't believe I totally forgot to mention:




Congratulations, babe! Can't believe you - we - made it through law school. Yipee.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Roadtrip Details...

I just spent hours writing the account of my trip to Janell and Chris' wedding and then I realized that my minute detailing of every mile on I-90 may be the product of my OCD-ish need to include everything, but is not necessary on my blog. So to spare the average reader the risk of hitting their head on the keyboard from being bored to sleep - or the risk of breaking out in tears and hives from just being plain bored, here is the cooked-down version:

I drove - far. I saw beautiful landscapes along route 8, and again crossing into Canada. In between was I-90W, which suffice it to say is the longest stretch of highway in the US and the 4+ hours spent on it in the state of NY felt like driving the entire thing. I visited Palmyra, where the church of Jesus Christ was reorganized in the 1800s and felt the spirit of God there. I crossed gorgeous bridges and ate good dinners. I went to rehearsal, met and re-met some very cool people (and some that just rubbed me the wrong way), I fell in love with Chris' family and loved hanging out with Carol, Mark (x2) and Liz - and of course Janell! I didn't see much of Chris, but I still have to say, I like him a lot - Blue Jay fandom aside...:) (And for the record - I felt so unbelievably honored to be her maid of honor. It was a blast!)
Then I went to my first Catholic wedding, liked the priest and the sermon, not so much the murals. I knelt on a marble floor (!), I signed papers and gave a speech at the reception. I danced at the reception and had much more fun than I would have expected on my own - the other bridesmaids, the groomsmen, Janell's friends and both Janell and Chris' families just made me feel comfortable and included. I had hair and nails done (totally spoiled!) and was treated so well in every way. I also found my long lost twin sister - several people asked if Liz (J's sister in law) and I were sisters/ twins. Maybe some ancestor went to Italy a long time ago, who knows Or maybe those crusaders got a little too friendly with the locals in Jerusalem...But that's beside the point, I think. Finally, I was very blessed by God, when I started getting sick Saturday. I prayed fervently that it could wait a little - figuring it would be more fun to drive sick than be in a wedding sick. And my major cold/ virus thing went into hiatus all day Saturday and didn't resurface till around 1:30-2 am Saturday morning when I headed back to my room after the reception. Very, very cool.

Then I drove again, waited at the border for 1.5 hours, batted my eyelashes in shocked surprise when the officer told me I couldn't bring my center piece into the US - and then he actually let me. So nice! Hee. I made it to Syracuse before I was so tired I couldn't stay awake anymore and checked into a Best Western there (around 4 pm). Spent the afternoon resting and watching TV, ordered nasty nachos and had a great night's sleep (after I locked all the doors and windows and pulled a dresser in front of a little side door. Too much Law and Order, don't ask...)

I made it home by noon on Monday, feeling exhausted and totally exhilarated that I actually made the trip all by myself. Chris' family kept saying I was brave - I think that was their polite way of saying crazy. And maybe it was - but it was sooo much fun!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Roadtrip!!

I can't believe I did it. I am totally lame, but I actually feel so proud of myself. I drove, all by myself, from our house to Mississauga, Canada for Janell and Chris' wedding. 500+ miles each way. (Most of that on 90W, the most boring stretch of road I have ever driven on, by the way. (I figure a few stretches in the Midwest that I travelled on the Greyhound could compete, but I didn't actually have to drive that bus, so 90W wins!)
The trip was good, the wedding was beautiful. More details and pictures will follow.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day Gifts

Sam got up with the primary kids in sacrament meeting and sang. And Lucas got up at Wendy's house and walked around her family room. (He was a total ham about it too - he kept looking at us to make sure we watched him and he giggled when he fell down...). I am so amazingly blessed with those two monkeys. Ah!
In other news, Evan had his last final on Thursday and I took mine Saturday. I cannot believe 3 years of law school have some and gone - but more about that after the graduation ceremony on Sunday. I'm sure I'll have lots of reminiscing to do then.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Where is the Script?

What do you tell your friend when her little son is very ill and going through grueling tests for blood and immune disorders? What do you tell your sister when her heart has been broken by the guy she thought was the one? What do you tell your 4-year old son when he asks you to pray to find the toy you think his little friend stole from him? Where is the script that tells me what to say in this act of the play called life? Where are my lines?!?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I do not heart finals time!

I am trying to teach Sam to use the word "dislike" instead of "hate" - I figure it sounds less harsh - and so I am trying to avoid using it myself. Which is hard for me. Because I really do not like finals time. At all.
I try to find comfort in the fact that it will all be over soon and this truly is the home stretch with only three finals left for Evan in law school (while conveniently blocking out the exixtence of the BAR in July...) but I miss my husband, I miss having his help with the kids and I miss being able to ask people to pick up their socks without feeling immensely guilty. Ech. Somewhere in there, I find a bit of jealousy as well. Imagine being able to check out of all responsibilities several times a year to do the one thing you have a passion for. Oh, come on, sure it's finals and it's work and it's tough, but my genius husband thrives in the mental challenge. I am sorry, I am not going to be able to do anything around here - I have to take my semi-annual finals in civilizing little monkeys as well as the finer aspects of I-don't like-that-and-won't-eat-it-cuisine. Heh.

In other news, Carrie wants to be Charlotte and I still haven't figured out how to make everybody feel less pain. However, Lucas is babbling up a storm [Uh=up, oh-oh=oh-oh, ao=hallo] and loves to find a book and drag it over to sit in my lap and have me look at it with him, while Sam stopped me while we were leaving work and asked for a hug, completely unprovoked. And they were both the bravest little troopers this morning while getting their shots. All in all, the world is still a good place to be. At least the little world inhabited by the two sleeping monekys upstairs.

Monday, April 30, 2007

I have a drug problem...

Turns out one Benadryl knocks me out and makes me a complete zombie. I had miserable allergies early this morning, took a Benadryl and have not been able to function all day. Brilliant. The warning label should read "do not operate heavy machinery or expect to be able to take care of your children in any way resembling normal parenting upon taking this medication." Oy!

I need a hero!

I had forgotten this song even existed but when I heard it today it struck a cord with me. (No pun and all that...)
I know this girl - let's call her Carrie (because this sounds like an episode of that show) - whose boyfriend turned out to be...well, let's just say a sad example of how not to break up a relationship. And even sadder, every one who hears the story of said Carrie says that he is being "a typical male." What is the matter with people today? Where is the honor and decency and manners! I am irate at the utter indecency of this guy's behavior. I am frustrated that I am too far away to help "Carrie" and I wish I could flick some magic wand and make everything all better. I also feel guilty that I don't appreciate my own husband more - I guess, I found one hero out there - and I ought to be more grateful for that.
I also wish I could sort out my clichés and write something terribly witty about this whole thing but I am honestly just too tired and angry to put it all into words. I am disgusted that this guy doesn't have the balls to break up like a man - or maybe you have to be a girl to do that?! And is that even appropriate to write on here? Ah - I am too tired to think - I guess I'll just hum "I need a hero..." for a while and hope it makes the world a better place.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

somewhere in my youth or childhood...




I must have done something good...

I llok at those two boys and wonder how I ever got blessed enough to be their mother. They are so crazy and funny and stubborn and intense and so amazingly lovable. Ah. My little monkeys!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Meanings and Reasons

I thought about those tonight. Meanings and reasons, that is. And I realized that I don't think there is always a reason for the things that happen in life. I often hear people state that while we don't understand something, there is a reason why it it happened - a reason as in a grander purpose - and I don't think I believe that it is always so. Sometimes bad things happen because people make bad choices. Sometimes people use their agency without any consideration for others, for life, for good. This week a kid walked onto a campus and killed 33 people, including himself. I don't think God made that happen for a reason, I think the guy lost it and made a choice that forever will resonate in the lives of these victims' families and friends. (Including his own family.) I imagine God bowed his head in sorrow too this past Monday - and each time one of us uses our agency to wreck havoc in the world and the lives of others.
I think sometimes the only meaning we can find in such tragedies is the one where we turn to God in pain and fear and learn that while the horrifying, unimaginable, wicked things happen, we do not have to cry alone because He is always with us. And He is ready to comfort us and give us peace in our souls at least, even when there is no peace to be found in the world. Sure, there are lessons to learn, and as we rise above the things which are brought into our lives we find that the new direction our lives take is beautiful as well. Sometimes as we experience loss and pain we can use it to make someones else's life better and more beautiful. And maybe that is the meaning - that we learn to use the pain in our life to ease the pain in someone else's. And see - I am looking for a reason after all. Heh. I guess I can't write off God's hand in my life as easily as I thought I could. After all my ramblings I found a meaning and a reason. Guess there was a reason I was wondering about this. ;-)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kiss Me Sam - No, On the Lips!

Sam was playing at Aubrey's house and Amy over heard the following conversation through the monitor:

A: Kiss me Sam
silence
A: Kiss me Sam!
S: I did already
A: No, on the lips!
(At which point Amy went upstairs and told Aubrey about the proper not asking friends to kiss you etiquette :)

Hee, hee, hee! What do I even say to that? I guess Aubrey wanted to play sleeping beauty and Sam had to be the prince, which he wasn't really interested in. 12-13 years from now, he's probably gonna be wishing he'd taken the chance when he had it, but for now my little boy is too cool for that stuff. I can't help but laugh - it's so darling and innocent. And so typical Sam. Everything has to be on his terms, on his time. I guess the whole apple and tree bit is true after all.
The little guy is so stubborn and good at pushing my buttons, while he is still just endearing and brilliant and my little baby boy. Ah - today he scared me to pieces - when I picked him up from hs playdate I talked to Amy for a few minutesa nd when I turned around I couldn't see him anymore. I figured he'd just started walking home and hurried after him, but didn't see him anywhere, so by the time I got to the front door I was getting a little freaked and having thoughts of kidnappings running through my mind.. We do have that very large and trafficked road by our door. So I start calling his name with an edge of panic in my voince and heard his little voice though the door. The little stinker had let himself in (I hadn't locked the door) and closed the door behind him. I hugged him tight and told him never to walk away like that again and he said "but mami, I was cold." I went on for a while about how worried he made me and to tell me that he was cold and then I remembered that he had crossed the parking lot to get home as well. His reply to my car lecture was "I checked for cars." And I have to admit, I was proud of him - my little boy taking initiative, making it home and even remembering to look for cars. My heart still skips a beat at the thought of the what if's but for that moment I mostly just felt proud. I guess the craziness doesn't come from strangers either...

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Indecisiveness

- or is it indecision?...
Sad, sad thing isn't it? The fact that I can't make a decision about little things like spelling the word in my headline is a sad indicator of the fact that I suffer from severe indecisiveness. (Or indecision.) On my good, days I make it through with only a minimal amount of wavering back and forth between my options. On my bad days, I contemplate everything in my life and second-guess previously made choices.
Here's a great example: I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. Then I tried it and felt trapped, unfulfilled and on the verge of insanity. Fair enough, you might say; staying at home isn't for everyone and at least I tried it. Right. So I went back to school and am now six weeks away from graduation. (Of course after switching careers half-way due to another bout of the "illness".) Since I wasn't good at staying at home, you would think there wouldn't be a question as to whether or not I should get a job and yet there is - apparently I am completely incapable of making a decision and sticking to it, because I have no idea what to do now. I have liked school and it felt like the right decision (both hair and then aesthetics) but now it feels kinda right to get back home with the kiddos. I have done a few interviews (and even a brief stint with a job for Mod Skin) but it just doesn't seem to fall into place with life, the kids, Evan's finals and the bar. But I am so torn because it seems like such a silly thing to get an education and then not use it. And then it seems like a good thing to be home with the kids. Maybe I feel good about that because I have had school twice a week, so I haven't actually been a full time sahm. Or maybe I have just gotten older and more mature. I don't know. Of course I don't - that would involve making a decision. Argh.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Home Again

This weekend I went to Chicago for my friend Janell's bridal shower. I don't even remember the last time I was just responsible for me and no one else; it was amazing :) I missed my monkeys and Evan and I felt the inevitable guilt for leaving, but I also had so much fun.
What is it with this guilt-thing that mothers have, anyway? We feel guilty for anything and everything. Do they give you something when you have the baby that automatically causes you to feel inadequate and guilty or is this something we women do to ourselves? Guilty for working or staying home. Guilty for not being perfect because we might do something wrong or for being too perfect so the kids feel too much pressure. (OK, the latter has never been a problem for me...) Guilty for playing too much and not keeping a clean house or guilty for cleaning too much and not playing enough. I could keep going, but then I'd just feel guilty for spending too much time on the computer.
I guess the issue isn't whether we feel the guilt, it's how we ignore it, still do our best and feel satisfaction in that. I love that line in the Relief Society theme: "[we] find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood." It doesn't mention that we are perfect and do it all well - no, it says that we find (as in look for and find) nobility in being mothers. In watching, teaching, laughing and even in the mundane, repetitive tasks, many of which are Sisyphean in nature. Guilt isn't mention anywhere. maybe it's time to leave it behind.
I wonder if I'll feel guilty about that?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mother Bear

I have become one - a mother bear that is. I am feeling a completely raw and primitive urge to roar loudly - and possibly use my claws a bit. I swore I wouldn't be one of those mother's who won't accept criticism of their children, so I am trying really hard to deal reasonably with Sam's preschool teacher, but the more I learn, the more I feel like grabbing her by the shoulders and giving her a good shake. And I say that in the utmost non-violent, yet mother-bearish way.
OK, so I really don't want to shake her (or be violent in any other way...) I am just so very frustrated with the way she is running Sam's ps class. First of all, he is at a ps that's part of a daycare. Last semester we didn't have any problems, but in January he moved up to the 4 yo class and small things began to bother me. Like, the new teachers wouldn't really greet him when he came or say goodbye when he left. The ps kids didn't seem involved in the projects b/c they aren't there all day/ every day like the daycare kids. He no longer brought home as many - and as cool - art projects.
Sam didn't seem too bothered and all his friends were in the class, so I didn't make a big deal out of it, though I did mention the greeting bit to the director of the dc. Following that conversation, the assistant teacher became very conscientious of greeting Sam when he arrived in the morning, so things seemed improved. Until the parent-teacher conference on Friday.....Ms Teacher gave me a two-page report on Sam, who suddenly had many areas that needed improvement. He doesn't listen to the teachers, he won't follow directions, he ignores them when they ask him to do certain things...I swear, I am trying so hard to be objective and not fall in the "oh yeah, well my kid's perfect" trap. I know Sam can be obstinate, ignore you when you talk to him, and get angry, but this teacher sounded so angry when she retold a couple of episodes where Sam had refused to move to a different seat or wouldn't answer a question. Unreasonably angry. As a ps teacher you must be prepared for 4 yo's who won't always do as you ask, no? I am so frustrated! Ah! She had to admit that he usually always sticks to the class rules and is usually a good kid but the few things she did mention that he does well, she almost mocked; i.e. he usually goes to centers that aren't messy, so he can clean up fast and get to circle time cause he likes that. Or, sure he answers some questions, but that's probably only when he likes the story.
I get angry just writing this. I know Sam is so painfully shy in bigger groups and he won't answer questions if he isn't certain of the answer. F.ex. she mentioned she had asked him what he did over the weekend and he refused to answer. Does he know what "weekend" is? "oh well, I told him 'the home days; the days when you aren't here'." And she said it to me with such anger and frustration in her voice, I can only imagine Sam shutting own at a similar confrontation. I feel like my baby is being treated unfairly because she doesn't take the time to understand him. I even checked with Sam's primary teacher at church to see if he was a problem there and nope, not at all. He also received great reviews from the teacher in the fall, so I am wondering if it's this girl who is inexperienced. Oh - I did run into another mom who had a simliar experience at p/t conference so I feel it's not just me being ureasonable. Although I read this and realize I sound a bit mean. I don't mean to gossip or be negative, I just don't know what to do with al this emotion. I want my baby to be happy and safe and treated fairly. I guess I might have to face the fact that life will have bits that are unfair and painful and I need to allow him to experience that. I just have a lot of sympathy for that momma bear right now.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I think I remember why I used to love Sundays...

I am sitting at my computer; it's ten to seven at night and still light outside. Evan and Sam are watching "Samuel the Lamanite" and Lucas is chatting with himself in his bed while going to sleep. We've been gone most of the day; first looking at houses (blech) then at church, then a pot luck linger-longer after church and finally Sam and I stayed for a baptism. (Sam wanted to stay and see the baptism and we figured it might be good for him to see what goes on. He loved watching it - he sat up front with Wesley and the other bigger kids when Amanda was baptized and felt so grown-up.)
So it was a long day and I still need to clean the house. Yet, I feel so...I think the word is peaceful. And blessed. My family is incredible; both the monkeys in my house (all 3...;-) ) and all the other amazing people I have in my life. My friends are kind. My apartment, though small and rented, is our home, our safe and cute little home. Our new church building is beautiful, our ward is a diverse and fascinating group of people. The gospel brings me peace, even when I think I have no peace to find. It's been nice to have a little time to focus on something other than everyday life today. Yes, I think I finally remember why I used to love Sundays. Now I better work on not getting so busy with life again that I don't have time to reflect on the many blessings I have in my life.
I am reading this and I feel it doesn't quite convey what I am feeling. Oh well - the masses of people reading my blog will just have to bear with me. Heh. :-)

Friday, March 23, 2007

One


I was trying to get some b-day shots of Luke and caught this one. My precious baby!

Sad news

I found out earlier today that one of my missionary companions passed away. Bertha Samoa - my brilliant, kind, gentle and compassionate companion through the month of May 1999. I heard that she had been ill for a while with some rare skin condition, eventually going into a coma, but that is all I know at this point. I guess the good die young, eh?! I can't think of a kinder and more loving person. I'm betting she is making people feel happier in the afterlife already.

I blinked -

and my baby turned one. Today. I am a walking cliché but I CANNOT believe it's been a year. Did I not JUST drive to the hospital that Thursday morning after a night of contractions? Did I not JUST (barely) make it through the long (!) day of labor? Or bring Lucas home? Or cry when he screamed and screamed at night b/c he was hungry and still wouldn't nurse (for future reference b/c there was too much milk)? Did I not JUST take Sam and Lucas to Denmark? To the doctor for 6 week check-up? I have been completely taken over by the urge to reminisce and capitalize...I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S BEEN A YEAR!!!!!
He is so freakin' cute too; it's hard to stand :-) He babbles his little da's and ba's straight into our hearts, climbs up the stairs (and other obstacles) with complete abandon, and has recently started doing this adorable thing where he smiles at people and then snuggles his head into my shoulder. AH! Can you tell that I am absolutely and entirely in love with my child?
Happy birthday, baby. I am so grateful you came to our family!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

House-hunting disappointments

We've been looking at houses for a few months now; at first just to get an idea of what we liked and then we got hooked and kept looking "just in case" there was one we liked. Well, yesterday we actually found a house we both loved. A cute cape on 127 Tunxis in West Hartford. Mostly everything about it seemed perfect for us (even down to the non-creepy basement sans asbestos and other nasty surprises). And then it turns out that the lending programs were juuuust changed (i.e. yesterday) and we don't qualify for the rate we can afford anymore. Argh! So frustrating! I am trying to find the meaning behind the fact that we found a house we love just as we are told we can't get it - I mean, is there a greater purpose? Amusement for the fates? Or is it just mere coincidence and there is nothing more to it? I guess, I would like there to be some meaning behind it all - make sit sort of easier to deal with, because I can tell myself that there is something better for us; it wasn't meant to be, etc. Right now, I guess I just kind of fear that God isn't all that involved in house-hunting but I have an inkling that maybe He does want us to learn something from this. Maybe patience, maybe trust in Him and His plan. Maybe that lenders are unpredictable. I guess I will report on the lessons learned as time goes by. For all the possibly interested...

A new day has come....

I am finally jumping on the blogging bandwagon. Maybe this will kick start my pathetic attempts at journal-keeping into some actual journaling -- or maybe the pressure of writing something people might actually read will kick me into a severe case of writers block. We'll see...
For starters, I'll just go through the usual qualms about which language to write in. I always have these long deliberations with myself when I am scrap booking, journaling, etc - should I write in Danish or English? My parents won't really be able to read the English - and no one else will get the Danish. In reality, it probably doesn't matter because our non-exciting lives aren't that much of a pull for the broader audience. I could probably write in Swahili and nobody would care. Heh. And there was yet another long deliberation. I guess, the end result is English then - at least that way my husband can understand what I tell others about our world.