Monday, June 30, 2008

payback is a b@%*&ch...

I owe my parents a formal apology.

I knew that when I entered parenthood that I would experience childhood from the other side. And I know that my mother sometimes revels in the fact that with two girls, I will experience much of the torture I inflicted on her during my own teen years. (Come on, Mom... Admit it.) But I had no idea how crazy you can feel when you've been out of touch with your kid for longer than you're used to.

I have not had any communication with Samuel for more than 60 hours now. That is a long time when you consider that the absolute longest I've been away from him is about 24 hours and that is with communication. And the thing is, when he's at a sleepover, I know there's a mom taking care of him. If he's sad or cold or it's sunny, I know that someone will cheer him up, give him a coat, or slather sunscreen on him. But at camp? The counselors are teenagers. What are they going to do?

Last night I couldn't sleep. I went to bed at midnight, after checking the camp photo site just one more time before I went to bed to see if any photos of Samuel's session had been posted. Nothing. I knew they wouldn't post on Shabbat, but thought for sure someone would post on Saturday night. I went to bed and watched the clock hit 1am and then at 2am, Boaz, who had been out playing poker came home.

"Hey, how many postcards have you sent Samuel?" I asked him.

"He's only gone for five days. You signed my name to the package, right?" he said.

"Uh huh," I said. "Totally. The package."

B looked at me funny and asked, "How many cards and packages did you send him?"

"Do you think four is too many?"

"Um, no. That's only two for everyday he's been gone so far."

"Okay, then. I've actually sent him five."

At 3am, I checked the photo site again to see if by chance, whoever it is who posts the photos had the same case of insomnia I did and had decided to post photos of my child's session online. In the middle of the night.


So then at 3:15 I started going down the list of horrible ways he could've gone missing between watching him walk onto the bus and arriving at camp.

Rationally, I know he's fine. It's a great camp, we know the director, and Samuel knew a third of the kids even before he left. It's the hysterical part of me that is, well, sort of hysterical.

At 8:30am, the phone rings and I lunge for it. It's Kim, who has also sent her oldest son to camp for the first time.

"What's up with the site?" she asks. "Why aren't they posting the photos?!"

Together we go over how it is impossible (right?) for the kids to have gotten lost between the bus and camp. We consider how bad it would be to call the camp and ask them what could possibly be more important than posting those photos on the site. NOW!

And then we realize that really, this five day session is seriously a growing experience for us, too. This is only the very, very beginning of the episodes where we wonder where are kids are, what they're doing, and what kinds of decisions they're making. Granted, these guys are eight, but it hit me hard that these little kids are not going to be little forever.

They're going to move on and have lives of their own. And I'm going to have to deal with it and let them grow up.

Maybe with practice, I can aspire to be the mom who jumps up and down happily and spa-bound as the camp bus pulls away. Or even just not be a total basket case.

But in the meantime, I am going to apologize to my parents. I'm sorry, Dad, for the time I drove cross-country and went days without calling you to tell you where I was without even thinking about how you felt. And I'm sorry, Mom, for going out in high school and lying to you about where I went. And I'm sorry I thought you both overreacted terribly and dramatically and totally unnecessarily in each one of those situations.

Payback sucks. Think I'll go check the site again for photos...

Friday, June 27, 2008

and he's off... (and his momma wore her sunglasses)

Samuel is officially off to camp and it seems we've hit a new milestone in more ways than one. While getting his stuff together last night, I asked him how he was feeling and he looked at me and said, "I'm good. I'm going to be okay."

"Oh, okay," I said. "But if you need to bring a stuffy or something, we could sneak it into the bottom of your sleeping bag and nobody would know the difference."

"Mom," he said sternly. "I am fine. I don't need to sleep with a stuffy."

(And then of course, I checked on him before I went to bed and he was sleeping with a huge bear in his arms, but I guess that's beside the point.)

This morning on the way to the bus, he was excited. And nervous. But mostly excited. And though he swore I'd have to drive him all the way to camp because we were going to miss the bus, we made it and he happily joined his three friends from school in the parking lot.

Not a lot of crying. At all.

I held it together while we gathered up his stuff and even managed not to let a cry escape as he climbed on the bus.

Notice how many of the moms are wearing dark glasses.

Notice their smiles... Comforting, no? Except for the parents yelling, "Woohoo! Resort spa here we come!" most of us looked like we were having a much harder time sending our small children on a bus to a camp hours away, not to be heard from for five days. Though, if I had just sent three children to camp and was going home to an empty house, would I be the excited parent in the parking lot? I might not admit that now. Hmmm...

Thank goodness for modern technology. Everyday the camp posts photos of the day's activities on their site.
I have a feeling I will know why their traffic gets a huge spike this week!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

summer camp 101

This is a big summer for us. Samuel is going away to summer camp... Sleepaway summer camp. Tomorrow. For five days.

He was so ridiculously excited when we signed him up last Fall. And though he was a bit disappointed when I told him that no, it wasn't going to be the kid-lead-lord-of-the-flies-anarchy he envisioned, but it would still be amazingly fun.

And then a couple of weeks ago, he began to get a little anxious about it.

Every night when I tuck him in he tells me he's very excited, but is nervous, too. And I respond with the very responsible and maternal, "Oh Sweetie, it's so normal to be nervous about being away from home for the first time, but you're going to love camp."

And it is as if this responsible, maternal demon has taken over my mouth because what I really feel like saying is:

"Oh Sweetie, I am soooo glad you said that because I feel like maybe it was a little too Martha Stewart of me to sign you up to go away for that many days when you're only eight, and I'm pretty sure I'll lose my mind wondering how you're doing everyday and what if you get scared and are too embarrassed to cry or what if you have an asthma attack or have an allergic reaction to a dog, or something happens and your kayak turns over..."

Yesterday I printed out the checklist of things he needed to bring and he began packing and checking off the list. He took it very seriously and because Wendy Mogul says that a kid who can pack his own bag does better on his own, I didn't even butt in when he picked five outfits that seriously did not match.

Today I sent Samuel a care package with comic books and Pokemon cards so that it is either there when he gets there or arrives the day after he gets there. I addressed it to "Sam" and signed it "Love, Mom and Dad" instead of Mommy and Daddy because I knew he'd be mortified if there was any evidence of him being little.

It felt odd.

Because I am not Mom. I am Mommy. Or Mama. or Mamadoo (as Samuel calls me, and I like it even though it sounds a little more like Marmaduke than I'd like).

I sort of dread the silence that will invade our house next week. Tali will have nobody to pester, I won't have anyone to watch Japanese gameshows with (um, not the best parenting moment, but a weakness S and I both share), and I'll miss my guy who always surprises me with really interesting questions like "When you were a kid, did you really think you could ever think like a grownup?"

How much can a kid grow up in a week?

But my memories of summer camp are some of the best of my childhood. I loved feeling independent and grown-up, yet safe with my counselors. I loved playing all day and staying up late at night. I loved the friends I met. And as a parent, I appreciate the fact that my parents made it a priority that I went.

And so I can't promise I won't embarrass Samuel by not crying on Friday as he gets on the bus to go to camp. But, I will wear sunglasses.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

fantastic or obscene? you decide...

This is what I found in the bag of cherries I was snacking on at work. Somehow, I can't bring myself to eat them...

103 things about me...

In the spirit of finally hitting my 100th post, I decided (rather unoriginally) to post 100 things about me. Except that I've actually missed my one hundredth post, so now I'm going to have to post 103 things.

I dare you to get through the entire list. Here goes:
  1. I am a Taurus.
  2. Even though I'm not sure I believe in horoscopes, I like that I'm a Taurus.
  3. I have three brothers and two sisters.
  4. Of the six of us, only two of us live in the same city.
  5. My middle name is Pamela. It's not actually Procrastination, as I disclosed before.
  6. When asked what I'd like to eat, I'll most often reply "sushi."
  7. Paul's teriyaki burgers are a next best as far as favorite foods go.
  8. I obviously love my children, but I also really like them.
  9. I think I wanted a Wii as much as Samuel did.
  10. I also liked that he thought I was cool for wanting one.
  11. He does not think I'm cool for wanting the American Idol game or the High School Musical Singalong game.
  12. I still want to buy those games, even if it makes me very uncool and parental.
  13. I also want to have a party where I invite my friends over to play those games.
  14. I'd ask Kim to bring her disco ball.
  15. I like that I'm old enough to not give a shit whether or not I'm cool.
  16. Okay, that isn't exactly true.
  17. I do care a little about being cool.
  18. But I secretly enjoy torturing my kids a little by having them think I'm not cool.
  19. It makes them think they're cool.
  20. Making my kids feel cool boosts their confidence. That's a good parental move most of the time.
  21. I knew I would marry Boaz as soon as I met him.
  22. I don't think he knew that.
  23. I met him at a Halloween Party in the Castro.
  24. He was dressed as Mr. Brown from The Resevoir Dogs.
  25. I was dressed as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz.
  26. He proposed on my birthday and I was completely surprised.
  27. We've been together for twelve years.
  28. We've been married for ten years.
  29. We both have grandparents who were married to each other named Albert and Fannie.
  30. I loved the name Fannie, but wasn't brave enough to give it to my daughter as her name.
  31. I've wanted to name a daughter Talia since I was 16.
  32. When I was little, I would draw pictures of all the kids I'd have and name them.
  33. I would usually have at least six children in each picture.
  34. I feel very, very fulfilled with three children.
  35. This makes Boaz feel very, very relieved.
  36. He is also very fulfilled with three children.
  37. I always prefer beer over wine.
  38. ...and gin over beer.
  39. Especially Bombay Saphire...
  40. A good margarita will trump all.
  41. And a good margarita with a halibut taco and a sunny day is perfection.
  42. I really love warm weather.
  43. Even though Seattle is surrounded by water, I miss the Pacific Ocean beaches terribly.
  44. I am happiest on the beach.
  45. I started running this year.
  46. I love the high I get when the adrenaline kicks in.
  47. I love that it makes me feel strong.
  48. I love that it makes me feel powerful.
  49. I love that it makes me feel like an athlete.
  50. I don't love that since I've started running, I've gained five pounds.
  51. I know it isn't all muscle.
  52. You should not even try to convince me of this.
  53. Since I've started running, I haven't been able to stop eating.
  54. I have this irrational fear that if I keep running, I will be fifty pounds overweight by the time I can finish a marathon.
  55. I know this seems irrational.
  56. That's why it's an irrational fear.
  57. I ran my first race this year--Beat the Bridge.
  58. I beat the bridge--it made me ridiculously happy.
  59. I want to run a half marathon this year.
  60. I really like working.
  61. I love to plot and plan new business ideas.
  62. I spent a lot of time feeling guilty about loving my work because it meant I wasn't a stay at home mom.
  63. I'm over it.
  64. I'm terrified of weakness.
  65. I'm stronger than I seem.
  66. I am a horrible gardener.
  67. I have watched plants slowly die and have done nothing about it.
  68. There are worse things to be.
  69. I have never had a cavity.
  70. But I hate going to the dentist.
  71. I have trouble with close talkers.
  72. I've even been known to avoid close talkers, despite the fact they are usually very friendly.
  73. I really enjoy my friends.
  74. There isn't much I wouldn't do for the people I love.
  75. After re-reading a journal from my teen years, I'm eternally grateful that I made it through those years (somewhat) mentally, physically, and socially intact.
  76. Re-reading my journal made me physically ill.
  77. Yet, I can't seem to throw it away.
  78. I have nightmares about my kids' impending teenage years.
  79. I really love shoes.
  80. I own more shoes than I need and spend more time thinking about shoes than I should.
  81. When I was little, I would sleep with a new pair of shoes.
  82. I loved the smell of new tennis shoes.
  83. I also have a thing for kid shoes.
  84. My daughters have owned way too many pairs of red shoes.
  85. I hate that it's a cliche for a woman to love shoes and shopping.
  86. Right. I also enjoy shopping.
  87. And I have expensive taste.
  88. But I hate to admit those things.
  89. And I am actually fairly cheap and do not part with money easily.
  90. I'd rather read than watch television.
  91. My favorite writer is William Trevor.
  92. And Jhumpa Lahiri.
  93. And Carson McCullers.
  94. But my favorite book is probably Absalom, Absalom, by William Faulkner.
  95. I always stay up much too late.
  96. I don't get enough sleep.
  97. It isn't just because of the kids.
  98. Or because I wake up to run.
  99. It's because I'm afraid of missing out on something.
  100. It's because there is always so much more to read and write.
  101. I'm a slacker when it comes to housework.
  102. Even though I like a clean house.
  103. I make it a point to remember my blessings.

Monday, June 23, 2008

putting a lid on the crib

Naomi did something the other night that her older siblings have never done.

After waking up at 3am and refusing to go back to sleep, making futile demands for more lullabyes (her fave is Dayenu still), and generally waking up the entire family with her screams, she climbed out of her crib, padded over to our room and shouted "I fell outta my crib!"

Because she is my third, I know there is little exciting about the transition to big kid bed, especially since I haven't really slept well for at least eight years. And because the little girl is just two, I know keeping her to a bed would be close to impossible.

But seriously, knowing that she can climb out of bed is really infringing on my sleep. I can't relax knowing that she might try again and then fall and hurt herself getting out.

A friend recommended a crib tent, but I checked out a few stores and people looked at me like I was insane. You'd think I'd asked for a toddler-sized cage.

But I know if I put her in a bed, she'll be out of it about a trillion times a night.

So here's where I ask for your help... What would you do?

(And if you have a crib tent you're not using, please send it my way!)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

a good summer day begins with poop and ends with poop...

My friend Kim and I have a tendency to choose activities with our children that most sane people avoid. We thought nothing of hauling six kids to Ikea to shop for desks and as chaos broke loose, we were fairly good-natured as we fed the children junk and watched our crowd accidentally knock over displays (that we picked up, mind you). We did not laugh, though, as Kim was overcharged about one thousand dollars and we were so harried we didn't even notice. At first.

We also instigated a random trip to Chuck E. F*&%$L@ Cheese, which we enjoyed immensely for about an hour and a half and then quickly rounded up the kids, drunk on video games, and drove them home as they talked about what good moms we were. (Seriously, they really did do that. Who knew there was an upside to the loudest place on earth featuring robots dressed as rats?)

So when Boaz and I thought going to the Fremont Solstice Parade was a fun idea and our friends asked us what we were up to, we thought them perfect candidates to join us on a crazy day. And we basically knew it would be when, about 30 seconds after arriving at our house, Josh had to go home and change because Sophie suffered a serious diaper blow-out.

After clothes were changed, we all went to wait for the bus since that way we wouldn't have to wait for parking. The kids were thrilled with the idea of bussing it--it's funny how kids seriously love buses. And adults, well... I know I should love riding the bus, and I definitely love the idea of the bus, and I like not looking for parking, and I suppose there is some interesting people watching on it, and you get to be a part of the community, and blah blah blah, but there are also lots of big bumps and odd smells to help accelerate motion sickness, and it's worse when you're responsible for those smells, but I'll get to that part later.

There were 12 of us in all, including Bo's parents, Myra and Moty, visiting from California, so it actually gave us an amazing ratio of 1:1 adults to children, so things were very calm. The kids loved the two bus ride to the parade as much as the cool bus stops with painted murals and etched glass.

The parade was so packed that we couldn't see much, but the three boys squeezed their way into the front for a better view. There were dancers, people on stilts, colorful costumes, cool floats (my fave was the monkeys on the bed), and nude bicyclists. Yup, nude bicyclists. But they're painted. The boys' faces were a sight to behold. They went from confused to shocked to amused, but really, after the initial shock, you barely noticed the nudity. Not really.

After the parade, we walked with the crowds to Gasworks Park where we sat and ate lunch and hung out watching the people and enjoying the first day of Summer. And it really, really felt like Summer.

We all felt like we were on vacation--I don't know if it was so much sun after being holed up all Fall, Winter, and Spring, or if it was such a nice change to be out of our own neighborhood and regular daily ruts and routes, but it was lovely to be out and about with good friends and family.

And then came the bus ride home... The regular routes were changed because of the festivals and we ended up trekking six very tired kids under eight about twenty blocks to catch the bus. Luckily, a tuckered Sophie fell asleep after the first bus.

And it seemed fitting that just as we were getting on the second bus, Naomi announced to the world very loudly that she had a poopy diaper. And then once we were on the bus, she continued to inform us and everyone on the bus of her status. But by then, nobody really needed to be told anymore. We did not make any new friends on the bus ride home, but we all did get our own seats! :)

Happy Summer! Seattle is so glad to see the sun!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

wii are family...

Last night, Boaz and I gave Samuel a Wii for his birthday. He's been pretty much drooling over them since he played one for the first time nearly a year ago and has been dutifully saving up his money. And Boaz and I have been pretty much smitten by them, as well. They're so sleek and cool looking, and so ridiculously fun to play.

So when I searched on them on craiglist and found one in good condition for a good price, we got it. Our boy was so surprised because not only was he not expecting it, but he knew that there weren't any in the stores, and the look on his face was priceless.

(It is really such a good thing that he doesn't know that seeing his expression of pure joy turns his parents into silly putty.)

The whole family made their Miis (your own Wii avatar, for those of you not in the know, and which we not so cleverly named Amii, Talii, Sammii, Boazii, and Boa (Cousin Noah)), and and then played round after round of Wii Sports, which was actually very fun for everyone--the players and the spectators. How novel!

Afterwards, Noah and Samuel found the Smash Brothers game that the guy we bought the console from threw in. It's rated T for crude humour and graphic violence, which it absolutely involves, as well as cute Mario figures to entice young children into participating in bloodsports and cartoon murder. WTF, Nintendo? Why is it necessary to include familiar cartoon figures in games not appropriate for children?

Samuel: Noah, you are so dead! I slayed you!
Me: (APPALLED) Samuel! Is there any reason why you think it's okay to say that? Also, don't you think that a game where you're just killing isn't appropriate?
Noah: It's okay, Aunt Amy... Look, my guy is applauding Samuel's guy, and I'm not actually dead. See? This game is teaching us about good sportsmanship and stuff like that.
Samuel: (laughing) No, it's not, Noah!
Noah: (now laughing, too) I was just kidding.

Needless to say, we switched back to Wii Sports immediately and I'm posting Smash Brothers back on craiglist. Maybe we can trade it for some other rated E game (though, somehow I don't think he's going to want the American Idol Karaoke game I thought looked like fun)...

That said, as soon as the kids went to bed, Boaz and I had a pretty good time bowling on Wii. (Watch out, Tacoma and Bellingham!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

what time is it? it's party time--we're on vacation...

Yes, it's true... I just quoted HSM2, but it seemed appropriate since I've only seen it three times over the last week (well, parts of it at least three times--my kids sometimes do other things besides watch tv. Sometimes.) since it's the kids' new obsession. Don't even get me started on how weird it is that my five year old is totally into High School Musical since she doesn't even really know what high school is, but that's another story for another post...

School is just about out for the kids and my current project ends in less than two weeks, and for the first time since I was probably about the same age as those wacky HSM2 kids, I'm taking a summer vacation (maternity leaves don't count, though since I've taken three, some might be tempted to make them count).

When I tell people that I'm taking the summer off and not taking on any new projects until the Fall, the reaction I get mostly is, "Wow, that is so great. How amazing to do that." And my kids are thrilled. Tali is writing out lists and lists of things we'll do together (she's planning weeks of Barbies for us, and she's especially excited about the grand reopening of the Barbie Shoe Store in our playroom--"We should have balloons, Mommy!"). And Samuel wants me to help him make stop gap animation movies of his Lego adventures (very cool, but very, very, very, very p a i n f u l l y slow work). And I'm ready to put in some good quality time with these guys. I'm excited about having a lot of time to just hang out and move slowly from one activity to another. I purposely made few plans and even scheduled very few summer camps so that we can really experience a break from our usual manic routine.

And then every once in awhile, I freak out and cannot believe what I've done.

Weeks and weeks without plans? Alone with three kids who are terrified of boredom, but all with completely different interests? With no ad campaigns or content strategies to develop? No time to think about stuff other than potty training, educational development and (somewhat) well-balanced meals?

I like working. I really do. And despite the fact that lately I often feel that I'm riding the slowest track ever to career fulfillment because I make it a priority to pick up my kids from school a few days a week and spend a day a week with the baby alone, I truly love that feeling when I'm on my way to work and I know that I'll get a good chunk of time to focus on projects that are interesting and challenging and I'm only myself--not just somebody's mother.

Now, this is only a summer and I know that I'll be taking on another project or another job in a few months and that I should enjoy this time with my family. And I will. I will make that my priority for the summer. And I love that Tali's last summer before she begins school will be a fun and mellow one.

But I'm not the kind of girl who is naturally easygoing about changes, even self-inflicted changes, so I'm also preparing myself for a rocky start and taking notes about where the closest oxygen mask is stored. I've been making my own lists and plans and schedules so that I feel like we're getting somewhere, even if it ends up being how to figure out good methods of creating Lego movies. And since running keeps me sane, I will be scheduling my runs religiously.

And then I will work hard at making this a summer for us all to remember--by not working much at all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

another edition of child photography...

Well, the kids managed to get a hold of the camera again.

Ah, the beloved broken baby swing... Nobody rides in it anymore because it's forever wet and dirty from the rain. But at least it's being appreciated here.

Cool hardware, huh? I'll bet that's never been properly appreciated. Until now...
Portrait of the Artist
A child's view of the artist's mother... Boy, is that how I look from down there?

A foothold from the playset... Cool.

A path to nowhere... (or the driveway)
Close-up of the artist's friend, Sam--her partner in crime

Hey, if you have any child photography of your own, send it to me. I'll share it. Really.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

happy father's day...

Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there!

I'm happy to report that it was sunny here in Siberia, I mean Seattle, and we spent the day at the beach playing and splashing and building sand castles. The water was arctic, and the temps probably didn't hit even 70 degrees, but it was sunny out and that made us all very, very happy and oddly cheerful.

And I think Boaz had a nice Father's Day, though we were up at 6am, not with kid-made breakfast in bed, but to watch the Meet the Press tribute to Tim Russert, which was very sad. After that, B didn't feel like sleeping in, so we all got up and made breakfast together. The kids were sweet and cute with their homemade cards and B was so happy with them and obviously so touched by how sweet their cards were--it was one of those moments that makes you remember how good things are.

Father's Day is a funny day for our family, too, because Samuel was born on Father's Day. It always makes us remember the day we became parents and Samuel loves to hear the story over and over about how he was his dad's best Father's Day present ever.

This Father's Day I also dodged Samuel's birds and bees bullet for the last time. He came down after I tucked him in and practically begged me for the truth. So I gave him the preliminary rules--strict instructions to not talk about it with his friends ever (yeah right) and that what I was about to explain isn't allowed until you're at least 30 and married (uh huh). And then I gave him the truth, in a very vague and G-rated way, to which he replied:

"Ewwwwwwwwww! I don't believe it!"

I'm hoping it wasn't a mistake to tell him, but he's a persistent kid and Father's Day seems to be a day of milestones for our family. Though, I wish he could've asked his father. I wonder if he would've gotten the same response.

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

birds and bees, fried eggs and spurns--spring is in the air

Boaz worked late tonight and dinner got off kilter pretty quickly. I made my specialty--scrambled eggs--which I get away with because the kids love them and Samuel really has a thing for eggs--especially fried eggs. Everyone was hungry, tired, and whiny and then Samuel brought up the question I've been seriously putting off for years. (You'd think that since I knew this was evenutally going to get me, I'd have come up with an answer. But no, my middle initial is P for Procrastination.) Sensing something was about to happen,Tali and Naomi's ears perked up quickly.

Samuel: So Mommy, how do babies get born?
Me: They grow in the mommy's belly.
Samuel: I know that. How do the babies get in the belly?
Me: Um, well, Mommys have eggs in them, and Daddys have...
Samuel: Wait... Moms have eggs in them? Like chicken eggs?
Me: Um, no, not exactly. They're a lot smaller. All girls are born with eggs.
Samuel: So Tali and Naomi have them?
Tali: I have eggs?
Me: Um, yeah.
Samuel: Can you fry them?
Me: No! Samuel, you can't fry your sister's eggs... I mean... No... People eggs aren't like chicken eggs.
Tali (knowingly): Right. They're very different. Girl eggs like spurns.

for those of you trapped in siberia...

I am having trouble working on work tonight because I'm dreaming of warm beaches and Googling cheap air fares (there are none) to warm places. Tickets to anywhere are so expensive that I'm about to take a friend's advice and head to Spokane (I hear they have good corn tortillas there), but since I'm desperate for warmth now, I've taken to Googling photos of warm places.

Now, I generally like Google, but if this result in response to my search of "photos of warm beaches" is a joke, it's a very, very cruel one.

Here's a little warmth to you Seattle-ite Siberians...
Yeah, it's not working for me, either. But, I know those two blob figures are supposed to be people--warm people. And while we're waiting for some blistering 60 degree weather, I'm begging you... No turtlenecks in June. Please. (It's just so sad.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Yeah, yeah, I know it's Wordless Wednesday and all but this is big news. I feel justified in yelling to the world that the Seattle Times has announced to all that Seattle, is in fact, colder than Siberia--the best known most miserable place in the world.

And not to beat a dead horse to death, but driving to work the temp outside was 48 degrees. In June.

Siberia is warmer than Seattle, huh? Wonder what their housing market is like...

asher at the park--remembering the sun just a month ago...

wordless wednesday

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

a mother's mind is like a sieve...

I spent the other morning at my friend Julie's house where we'd planned to put up these cool Blik decals on the walls of her daughter's room (they are so cool and I'm drooling over the Anise design), but gave up trying to get anything done because it was too hard with the kids, so we sat with them and ate their snacks and watched them play.

"Is Tali going to gymnastics today?" Julie's oldest asked and we both realized that we'd totally forgotten about gymnastics. How it's possible that we forgot, I'm not sure. Gymnastics is a weekly event that four of our six children go to. It's at the same time each week and it's not unexpensive. Yet, it totally fell off my radar. And I have to say, I'm so relieved that Julie forgot, too, because 1.) I've always figured she was so together and 2.) now I'm a little less convinced that I'm experiencing early onset Alzheimers.

Here are some of the other things I've forgotten this week:

1.) Samuel's sleepover--I actually called Samuel's friend's mom and said, "Hey, Samuel would love to have a sleepover this weekend--what do you think?" And after a long pause, she said, "Amy, we planned one for tonight." Oh, right. Yeah... I was just testing her!

2.) Not only did I get one call from a summer camp this week, but THREE telling me that I'm late in sending back the medical forms.

3.) Father's Day (By the way, if you are my father and you are reading this, I have not forgotten Father's Day--See? I'm reminding myself right now!)

4.) I forgot to go to my dentist appointment last week... Just totally forgot. But I did remember this week that I was supposed to go... last week.

5.) On Sunday, Boaz and I both forgot that we've been keeping Tali off of dairy because she's been having stomach aches. So he took her to a birthday party in the afternoon where she ate pizza, cake, and ice cream, and then later on when we celebrated Naomi's birthday, she continued to eat more pizza, cake, and ice cream. And then spent the evening in bed with us curled up in pain with a stomach ache. Sigh...

6.) I'm about three weeks overdue in giving another parent my contribution for the teacher's gift. Luckily, she's got my number and knows where I live. :)

7.) And finally, a few days ago, I was driving a friend home, and even though I'd been to her house probably about two dozen times, I could not remember what street she lived on. Seriously. And though I have always been very admittedly and severely geographically disabled, this friend does not live very far from me. I explained to her how I've done this to other friends--forgotten where they lived--and one friend took it personally and how it was just my complete spaciness, but I'm not sure she didn't think something was a bit off with me.

So why am I forgetting everything? Is it because I'm not careful enough? Maybe, but I have lists in twelve billion places and have resorted to writing the most important information on my hands (which I have to say, is actually not the greatest look. But it does work--at least until you've washed your hands a couple of times.) I would write it on my face if it'd help, but lately, I haven't had time to look in the mirror often enough to believe that seeing something there would help me remember anything.

I'm going to attribute the forgetfulness to simply being way overwhelmed. Three kids, five schedules to create and follow, twelve tons of laundry, committees to serve on, miles to run, meals to cook, lunches to make, carpools, baseball, t-ball, gymnastics, doctor's appointments, phonecalls to return, bills to pay, and a career to grow, and oddly, thankfully, or unfortunately, I rarely forget things at work, so maybe my brain isn't strong enough to hold it all? And why are we, why am I, trying to do so much? Maybe there are just times when our family motto of "Everyone in bed and alive at the end of the day makes for a good day" is a good enough goal to live by.

So this is just to say that if I've forgotten to call you back or can't remember where you live, it's nothing personal. It's just that my brain is leaking a little.

a little song and dance--more meal time entertainment

Mealtime at our house is often entertaining...

Monday, June 09, 2008

how a two year old eats her lunch...

For those of you who haven't experienced it, or who have long forgotten (or blocked it out of their memories), this is how a two year old eats her lunch.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

happy #2, naomi!

Today we celebrated Naomi's second birthday with a small family party and our friends Kim, Fifi, Sam, and Jacob. We also had my aunt Natalie there as a special treat and it was a very sweet party. I had felt a little bad about not having a big to-do (yes, yes, I'm repeating my Birthdays Without Pressure mantra...), but when it all came down to it, it really was fine that the two year old hostess with the mostest didn't have a lot of other two year old friends over since the rule of birthday guests per age is a good one for a good reason (okay, we didn't follow it, but our guest list with only one other one year old was a nod in that direction--nevermind the six other older children).

Also, Naomi had only gotten a 45 minute nap instead of her much longer one (thanks to a loving sister who was way too excited about the party!), and I'd been suckered into making homemade cupcakes and frosting by Boaz, who convinced me it'd be such a fun thing to do with the kids, and then when he saw my reaction, then kindly offered to bake them himself, but left it to the last minute and was then called out for a work emergency leaving me to powerbake said cakes a couple of hours before the party. But I'm not at all bitter. Not at all. Especially since I have the phone number to Cupcake Royale programmed on my cell's speed dial and I grew up thinking that using a box cake mix was the same as homemade.

Nope, not at all bitter.

And were the cupcakes better than box? Um, yeah. They totally were. And the homemade frosting was also quite yummy, though the consistency was wrong and on most of them, I ended up using the back-up can frostings I had pre-bought in case of an emergency. That didn't stop us from digging into the home brewed stuff with spoons after we'd tried the other frosting.

And Boaz did all the party dishes, which made him a hero again.

But most importantly, the birthday girl LOVED her cupcakes.

She loved opening presents...

And everyone had a good time.

Uncle Dan especially had a good time with the party hats.

Happy Birthday to my little Noemi, who is strong and sweet and deliciously curly. We are all so lucky to have you in our lives.

P.S. I think you should know that even though it looks warm in Seattle in these pictures because most of us are wearing summery clothes, it is not. The sun came out for about an hour and we all sat outside (some of us in our winter coats), and then gave in and came inside where I passed around wool socks like party favors. Maybe my cousin Becky is right and I should try to appeal to Spring instead of writing hate mail to Winter.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

dear winter... you suck.

Dear Winter,

You suck. You really do. I hate you. I really do.
Okay, okay... I'm going to try to be mature about this (but seriously, how mature can someone be if they're writing a letter to a season?!). Things have just gotten out of hand here. We are close to the end of the first week of June and it is still blustery and cold. COLD, I tell you! Temps in the 50s do not make for a pleasant Spring.

I'll admit, at first I thought I might be overreacting. We are in the Pacific Northwest and weather swings a little differently here. But for the past three years, I've really been able to anticipate warmer weather as it coincides with the (also unending) base ball/t-ball season. The season starts off cold and the kids have to wear long sleeves under their jerseys.

The beginning games are a bit miserable for the parents because it's cold and the little siblings are sad to be hanging out in the wind and rain, but then as the season progresses, the days get warmer and the games are really fun to watch. Okay, I can't find any photos for some reason--must be my stellar photo archiving strategy--but I KNOW that last June was warm. June is supposed to be warm. See how warm Naomi's first birthday was?

See? That's a small child wearing a tank dress and she's barefoot, too. She is pale, but it's warm. I remember it.

Here is Tali's last game of the season...

Um, note the long sleeves and jackets, and even parkas on the parents in the way background

Okay, Tali does look happy here, but it's because of the game, Winter. Not you. And she's just cute (so says her mother) so she gets another photo. So there.

Everyone is walking around cursing you, Winter. And then even though some of your friends (must be Frosty and Co. disguised as school parents) say, "It's like this every year. June is dreary." But I will remind you that we usually have more than three days of sun before our dreary June. Today at Samuel's baseball game, the sun came out for three minutes while we all raised our faces upwards and sighed and enjoyed it. And then it was gone. And we had to go back to our cars to keep our noses from running and our children from freezing. And apparently I missed my son's grand slam. (It's debatable whether or not this is really true, but the view from the car really isn't ideal.)

Also, can we talk clothes for a second? Last month, on our one hot day (wooooo, it was 80!), my friend Kim and I went shopping for summer clothes. I bought a pair of summery white jeans, a pair of bermudas, and a summer top and do you know where those warm weather items are? They're in my closet. WITH THE TAGS. STILL. ON. I was so excited to wear those items. But instead, more than a month later I'm still wearing my winter clothes and they are dreary. Wool in June is pathetic.

So come on, Winter! For the kids to not be able to finish their celebratory end of season popsicles because they're already shivering is just mean and cruel. And though you're saving me money by really making pedicures and (any more) new clothes unnecessary, I'd rather expose my toes to some real genuine UV rays.

You're a bully, Winter, and it's not funny anymore. You've set your record so go home.

Beat it, Winter. You do suck.