July 31, 2010

A post of absolutely no importance

I should be napping right now.  My kids are napping.  I should be napping too.  And I’m tired.  Yet here I sit…

And I wanted to say a few things that are of absolutely no importance whatsoever to anyone in particular.

First and foremost – I need a haircut and a dye job.  My roots are so grey and obnoxious, even my children are starting to wonder.  “Mommy ow?”  Yes, baby…mommy has a big owwww.  Over her entire head.  It’s called AGE. 

Second, since I’m wishing and wishing for Fall, I stubbornly took it upon myself to bake four loaves of banana nut bread.  And just to be cheeky, I made one of them chocolate chip/banana, one of them plain, and two with walnuts.  See?  Out of control.  And let’s just say, for instance, that using your oven on a 104-degree day is sort of not fun.  So there’s that.  Now where’s Fall? 

Third, I notice that LOTS of bloggers either host or participate in weekly/daily fan-followed blog challenges.  And you do/blog/post photos about those things.  And they have clever names, and cute buttons, like “Fabulous Foto Friday” - (and my humble apologies to anyone out there running this gig)  I’m still working on my buttons, but what do you think about the titles???  Say like…

“Maybe I’ll get out of bed, maybe I won’t Monday”

“Totally too tired to blog Tuesday”

“What laundry? Wednesday”

“Think this week will never end Thursday”

“Failed Spectacularly at parenting again Friday”

“So you think you can parent Saturday"

“So what if my hair is still grey Sunday”

I mean, just for starters or whatever.  I’m open to suggestions.  We could take the blogging world by storm with these.  Can you imagine the images we could conjur for the grab buttons alone?

And last but not least – are you one of those uber super duper organized people who has completed beautiful baby books for each of your children?  Scrapbooks or Lifebooks digital or otherwise that chronicle each year of their life?  Hours and hours of video of your children doing the most mundane of things, just because?  Thousands of pictures sitting in files on your computer? 

Anyway for the rest of you – I am not one of those people.  But I do have one little thing that I work on fairly regularly and it’s simple and easy and I’m already glad I have it. 

It’s a Word document that I started in 2008, when we brought Quint home.  I wanted to remember all his little mannerisms and changes and nuances…and I knew I would never be able to.  I’m not much of a journal gal…GASP GUFFAW NO!  And I know I’ll never be able to recall just what he said or did…or all the cute ways he made us laugh.  So I opened up this Word document one day, and just put the date and started listing some things he was doing, milestones, etc.  And then I saved it in a safe place on the computer.  A month later, I came back to it, typed the current date and added a bunch more stuff.  And so on and so on…and now I have several pages of all the little changes Quint has seen in the past two years with us. 

And I’m so glad I do.  I’ve backed the document up for safety, and continue to do that regularly. 

I’ve also started one for Keira.  And I made sure to write down that she has to sleep with her little pink Elephant Lovie…and she curls it into the crook of her arm and nuzzles the trunk with her nose.  Now I ask you…how can I possibly remember that precious detail 20 years from now?
So if you’re not a scrapbooker, journaler, writer, etc. and even if you are – this is a simple way to put those precious things down on “paper” and have them for later.  I read over Quint’s log from time to time and I’m amazed at what I have already forgotten.  It’s a simple gesture really, and doesn’t require much effort at all…

And now I’ll never forget that he said “flower” for the word "water".  Nope.  Never. 

Yes, well…this concludes our totally random post.  That I just had to share.  And NOW I’m taking that nap.  Have a great weekend!

And seriously…try not to do too much damage on “So you think you can parent Saturday"….just sayin’.  I myself can make no promises.

July 29, 2010

Paging September

Well if I’m honest, I just don’t really like August all that much.  It’s like a bunch of Mondays all shoved together into one really hot month.  Frantically trying to get everything in order, finishing up projects that didn’t quite make it higher on the list, taking care of misplaced apathy, lethargy, and my personal favorite; procrastination.

When you’re married to a teacher, August marks a call to return to work.  Back to school, taking on an entirely different meaning our house than the excitement it brings to students. 

It means that our “us” time, however little that was this summer, as AB plugged away at two other jobs, is officially wrapping up.  No more lazy mornings, no more late Sunday or Tuesday or Thursday nights.  Just because we could.

It means back to the theater.  Back to productions.  Back to rehearsals and set-building, and music cues for the next nine months.  Back to me cooking dinner for my children.  Woe.  Woe to them.

It also means trying to cram any little piece of fun we can manage into any day we possibly can and all the while saying “this is the last time we can do this for a while”. 

Bunch of Mondays…boo.

But there is something lurking on the horizon that brings me great joy and happiness.  No kidding. 

After I get through my obligatory yearly 31 days of August, I’m rewarded with September.  And do you know what that means?  That, my friends, means that 33 days from today I get to usher in the most wonderful time of my year. 

Autumn.  Fall.  Harvest.  Ah.  Like a breath of fresh air.  Because I love me some summer.  Don’t get me wrong.  But I HEART, DOUBLE HEART me some Fall.  Can I get an amen?  Amen.  (there, gave myself one…)

And for three glorious months I get to enjoy those amazing reds, oranges, browns and chocolate colors, cool evenings, pumpkins, dressing up, turkey, baking, spice candles burning, and warm banana nut bread fresh from the oven.  And soup.  Wonderful soup.  And leaves.  Oh, the colors...and walking outside and not melting into the ground.  Ahem.

So I’m gonna push my way right on through August.  Because I know I get that sweet, sweet favorite time of year when it’s over.  And the way months are flying off the page over here?  It’s right around another few Mondays…

September!  Paging September…please come to front of the calendar!!  You’re #1 Fan is missing you so…

July 26, 2010


both of you…my amazing, wonderful, sweet babies…

you bless my life more than words that I speak or write can ever tell

more than all the flowers, all the raindrops, all the blades of grass in the world

more than all of that…

and I wasn’t sure I could do it…make it…wait for you…be “her” for you

I was wrong

I loved you more

I always will

Guess we’ll be on our way…

It’s time.  Two weeks passed so fast…like a blink.  I can’t believe they’re over already.  Yes, sadly we leave La Cabin tomorrow morning, and just to be defiant, we’re going to attempt to squeeze in a pontoon ride in the morning before setting off.  We’re stubborn like that.  Heading back to our busy reality is a bit sad for us…for many reasons.

I could write so much – but it’s late, and I’ve only got just enough time to show you…

how we swam and swam and played and played…

and certain little boys got their sea-legs firmly under them and then some


and how Frogmore Stew is the best summer meal on the planet – oh my, oh my…


how certain husbands spent quiet time fishing and caught some lovely bass…


how a certain little girl got to celebrate a belated 1st birthday with her new family - all there to sing and clap and love her and celebrate her wonderfulness


and watch her eat cake…


there’s so much I could tell you about our time in the mountains, but most important is that we got a much needed respite. 

And being here is certainly starting to take the shape of a standard summer tradition.

What a wonderful way to spend our time…thanks to Mom and Dad B for hosting us these past two weeks – we were such happy recipients of your sweet hospitality. 

July 24, 2010

Slowing Down

Mountain life has a way of forcing you to slow down. 

When I’m at home, and you can probably relate very well to this, I’m in action every day.  I have a hard time just sitting still for very long.  There’s laundry, dishes, meals, pets, bills, errands, kiddos and their many needs, e-mails to answer, Farmville and Cafe World to tend to.  (*snicker*)  The list, my list? Is endless.  And I rarely give myself time to just stop.  

Maybe take a walk down a quiet road.
But here?  It’s the opposite.  Outside of some very light chores (like remembering to dry our towels after returning from the pool for the umpteenth time, or rinsing out my big coffee mug after a few cups of brewed bliss…or maybe picking up toys after playtime) we’re on vacation auto-pilot.  And until we got here?  I didn’t think we were capable of it.  Of relaxing enough to really enjoy ourselves.

But I was completely and happily wrong.  We did and we have.  And we needed it so bad.  Life has a way of sneaking up on you and stealing something really, really vital to a family unit.  Intimacy.  The intimacy of your family life.  And ours had wandered off into whereveritwent and we were missing it terribly. 
Thankfully, we’re so happy to be together, that we’re just loving each others company.  And soaking each other up the best we can.  And finding our family intimacy again…
AB and I took the kids for a ride in the cart today and we spent a good hour exploring.  And when we were done with that, we moved on to the hammock.  The one that sits right on the river. 

Going back to reality is going to eat me alive. 

Three days left, and we’re savoring every single one of them.

July 22, 2010

The Heat...and napping

Everything seems so good now that AB is here with us.  More fun.  More complete.  More perfect.  Definitely more comforting.  We all miss him when we’re apart.
And on another note?  I’m not fond of the heat, to be honest.  It’s so hot that going outside for any reason seems a bit daunting.  Unless of course, we’re on our way to swim.  Which we have been, a lot here lately.  Some days the water is too warm.  Other days cool and refreshing.  And a couple nights ago, we swam in the evening and watched trance-like as a swarm of beautiful dragonflies danced up and down above us for the entire time.  

And while on a cart ride yesterday, we decided it would be fun to play in the road.  And since no one really lives out here (save a few lucky ones) it was a lot of fun.  
   IMG_3056-rev IMG_3098-rev        
And on yet another note, I am in love.  Yes, yes…of course with my beautiful babies and the family and AB….but oh.  The naps.  There’s quality napping to be had here.  Not just the kids.  Lordy, I love a good nap.   And everyone is tired at La Cabin, because we rise early and get moving.  So each day we all take a little siesta.  I must admit to looking forward to this time of our day more than any other.  Amen.

Apparently, so does Blizzard the dog. 

And Oma, bless her heart, who gets the baby up and lets the rest of us keep sleeping.  Say it with me: bless her heart.
So, yeah.  We’re doing well as we head into week two.  And now that Daddy’s here, it’s been a lot of fun showing him how we spent the last week.  How much better Quint is at swimming, the good food we’ve been cooking (oh, let’s be honest…I haven’t cooked a darn thing…but Oma has!) and the golf-cart routes we’ve been driving, the pictures we’ve been coloring.  Even the small town consignment store we visited and found a few treasures at.  Oh la la.
We’ve still got a lot of fun stuff planned, including but not limited to (heh) a Pontoon ride on the lake, a belated birthday swim party for Keira with Frogmore Stew (go ahead, click the link…don’t judge…no frogs included). 
And that little shindig will end with a campfire and some smores.  A first for Quint and Keira, and ingredients happily calling my name from the pantry as I type this.  Pics to come on that fabulous action! 

In the meantime, you can find Keira and I on the Ez-Go.  She’s an excellent driver.  Just sayin’.  For a baby and all.

July 20, 2010

On staying little

I started today the same way that I have started the past five mornings at La Cabin: with a cup of ridiculously good coffee.  And today was special, because it was just cool enough to sit outside and enjoy that good cup of coffee.


And so there I sat, sipping and thinking.  And there my sweet boy sat across from me, playing away with his cars.  And baby-girl still sleeping in her cozy bed.

IMG_3025-rev vivid

And AB’s parents commenced with a ritual they’ve been doing for years.  And no, it’s not walking the dogs – although that’s certainly something they’ve been doing as long as I’ve known them.  No, instead it was this…

and that got me thinking about life, then love, then family, blessings, and all the things under those lists that we take so for granted.  Do I take them for granted?  Sometimes.  Maybe more than I’d like to admit. 

Sometimes I’m underwhelmed with being me.  Can you relate?  Can’t we all?  There’s too much that needs fixin’ on this version of me to ever really feel satisfied.  And that often bleeds over into my parenting.  Too much I do wrong.  Too many mistakes.  Not enough enjoying the moments and all the little things that make them who they are. 

And sometimes, I’m overcome with how fast it’s slipping away…and I’m sad to see it go and begging it to stay, often missing the fact that I’m the one pushing it along and hurrying it out the door.  For selfish reasons, I admit.

And that crushes me.  Because it’s going fast enough on its own without me there shoving it along. 

He’s growing up fast enough. 

And 2 is giving me a run for my middle-aged money.  I’m not even sure what 3 will look like – and honestly, I’m a little afraid.  But too often that is where my focus lives.  The propelling it…him…forward.  Longing for a time when he doesn’t do such and such anymore. 

And what a sad thought it is for me…when these are no longer the little smiles, little eyes and little boy on the other side of my lens.


July 19, 2010

Monday…I can’t wait til’ Tuesday

Well, it’s because we left Daddy back at home.  So this entire time we’ve been livin’ it up – AB has been stationed back at camp “worksalot”.  And can I tell you something?  This has been a tough year.  We went to China in January, and that’s the last time I remember seeing him…somewhere in Hong Kong over room-service and a cranky but sleeping baby.  


We came home from China, and he returned to work just a few short days later.  And, I might add, immersed himself into a majestic production of The King & I.  And so for months, we parted with him day and night for work and then rehearsals.  Then it was end-of-the-school-year stuff that had to be wrapped up, then it was a summer job (gotta pay the bills…hmph) and a summer directing job as well. 

Yes, we had a great time in NYC, but we had a large group of people with us and didn’t have a lot of down or alone time to speak of.  So it was fun – but it was not one on one at all.

We’ve hardly seen hide nor hair or him and it’s been hard.  Not as hard as hubby’s who have to leave for months on end or all-too-frequent business trips – but hard for us. 

Hard for them.  Because they are like seriously in-love with their Daddy.  Seriously.


And (who am I kidding) hard for me.  Have you seen the way I cook?  I think not.  And let’s just spare you that atrocity, shall we?  And we all know that AB is the Master Chef of La Castle.  And lately it’s been a lot of, ermm, frozen pizza and cereal for dinner.  (what?…is that so wrong?)

So, the point.  The point is that Tuesday AB is coming to join us.  Finally!  And this is our first time together as a family of four for more than one consecutive day since March.  Because it’s been that bad, and the Mister hasn’t had a day off to speak of since pretty much April.  April, people.  Would you not want to just crawl in bed and die? 

Daddy is a big-time hero to us.  He works hard, provides for our family, and loves us to pieces when we’re together.  And there’s the cooking.  Don’t get me started.

We are majorly, like mucho, mucho excited for Tuesday when he comes to be with us for a whole week of relaxing and summer fun at La Cabin in La Woods.

And don't be fooled by Little Miss Frowny.  She'd only just woken up and the boys were rallying her around to the bright side.  Most of the time, she's doing that for the rest of us with her wrinkled nose and hearty giggles.

Is it still Monday?

July 17, 2010

Summertime…and livin’s easy

We’re still love with the idea of not being at home.  Yes, we are indeed.  And really, the best part isn’t that we’re not having to watch the cement crack at home…(see, that’s a joke on how bored we’ve been) – but instead that we’re together, but somewhere new.  Which means we get to explore together.  And I get to see things through their eyes.  Which kinda makes me a little bit misty-eyed.  Yes, it does indeed.
And there’s a good chance that my son is all boy.  And that he loves to swim.  Like a fish. 
And that my baby girl likes to be in the water just like her brother.  And it helps when your cousins and Auntie are there to share in the fun.  That helps a lot. 
I’m not entirely sure we will come home.  Ok, yes I am.  But it’s fun to imagine. 

And there was one point, last night, when I was holding Quint and we were riding on the back of the EZ-Go (which is a fun golf-cart)…heading back to the cabin after a lovely and long evening swim.  And it was getting dark but not completely.  And the fireflies were everywhere and the air was cool and blowing gently around us.  And we rode in silence on that back seat, listening to the sounds of the woods and the critters in them, and letting those fireflies light our way back…

and it was magical

and that doesn’t happen nearly enough in our everyday life

and that’s why we love vacation and summertime

the livin’s easy