Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My little Monkey

I am inspired by my friend Mindee's Blog : Her post ( was about her 8th grade daughter. But she can hear her parents laughing at the revisitation of her young self upon her as a parent. I am certain I hear the same thing with my second son.

For one, he looks alarmingly like I did at his age. See the middle picture-it was from the 70's of my sister and me. Yes, this means I resembled a boy during my childhood-not the other way around. I was never a very girly girl. I am still not. In addition to the "mini me" appearance, this child has the same wanton disregard for neatness, food, and gravity as I did. I recall never being able to sit still. And, just like him, I certainly had it in for defying convention. I was the second born-same sex as the first, just like him.

Still, though, I have to draw the line at some of his recent antics. As early as 16 months, he was climbing out of his crib. He walked at about 11 months. It would have been sooner as he tried at 10 months but I didn't realize he was wearing shoes 2 sizes too small-see the blog on my other son for an explanation As soon as he got in the right size-he walked and never stopped moving!
He has climbed our overboard playset in the backyard since he was 18 months old. We are talking rock wall-dangling off the rope ladder and dropping over to the slide (about 20 feet in the air).

This child is not for the faint of heart. He climbed a solid oak dresser at about 2-creating stairs by pulling all the drawers out. Once on top, he had a foot in each of the top drawers and was rocking until it fell. The only thing that kept his incredibly heavy item from not crushing him was that my bed broke its fall. He never sits in a chair-he generally straddles a couple a time, and leans them back to create his own little obstacle coarse at the dinner table. He rides down our stair railings, hangs from his ceiling fan ( I am NOT kidding), stacks very unstable items on top of each other to reach for things I have put up high. He gets into cleaning products and drains spray bottles, has shattered our clock off the wall-and taken out the light switches below it on its way down, wrote all over my leather car seats with pen, regularly TP's the bathroom with an entire roll of toilet paper. He can make a mess eating a tic tac, he somehow destroyed our cable box the other night, he has shocked himself on electrical outlets, he loves to dump things out-for no apparent reason. He thinks chocolate is a food group. Often how he accomplishes some of these things is a mystery to us. I still don't know how the cable box got so messed up. In short, this child EXHAUSTS me. This is just the tip of the iceberg with him.

You know the saying-just let him fall and he will learn. This does not apply to my youngest son. He just thinks he will master it next time. Now, to his credit, he does have remarkably good balance. He is able to pull off a lot of these stunts with minimal bodily harm. But it still scares me to death when I hear a thump and he is not in my immediate sight. His incredible balance and physical acumen are only missing a huge compliance component. The child is as non-conforming as they get. I long to put him in an organized sport or activity, but every time I have tried, he mostly just protests and refuses to participate. He is as headstrong as he is mischievous.

I keep thinking he will outgrow these things, if he lives long enough. I keep this blog as a record for him to have when the same curse Mindee touched on visits him. He is guaranteed to have a moment with his own offspring that makes him reflect back on the havoc he wreaked on his own parents!

Special moments

I remember being pregnant with my second son. I worried so much that I wouldn't love this child as much as I loved my first. I felt guilty even thinking that, and I wondered if other moms had that fear? Then again, I had no idea how much I would love my first born either. And naturally, just like with the first ,I was amazed at how much I loved the second born. It is a feeling like no other. This little being that I had only known a few short hours had already marked a place in my soul that was so powerful and permanent, and has only grown with time.

I remember I used to just hold my little babies while they slept-against everyone's advice. I had to go back to work so early after both my boys were born, so I would sit up at night and just hold them because it was the only time I didn't have to share with anyone else. It was just my time.

And still to this day-they are now 4 and 7, I cherish holding them when they are tired and listless. They creep into bed with me with alarming regularity (at least to the general public) and cuddle. And deep down I love it. I know it's a bad habit, but I just can't help it. That is still my time-that no one can take away. No job, no obligation, no babysitting, no one can stake a claim on those moments. It's just that special bond I have felt since the moment I held them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Story of the Light

Once upon a time, a young girl and young boy met. It was as if they had known each other forever, and they fell in love. They had been wandering the world. Each one had al little opalescent glass container. These containers were exactly one half of a whole. When they met, the two fit perfectly together-of all the ones in the all the world (and everyone in the world had one), and a beautiful, intoxicating light shone brightly from the union of those glasses. And it felt so good.

For years, the light would burn with happiness, love and passion. Oh, it had an occasional flicker, but it always stayed lit. No winds could ever snuff it out, no storms, no thunder; no dark clouds-nothing could penetrate this flame. It was the flame that proved forever. These two were made to be together. And the summers came and went; and the two of them lived with peace and laughter and tears and fears and harmony and love.

Then there was a change. The family had an addition, and then another. During those years, the glass got shifted, cracked, and eventually broken. It was the saddest sight either of them had ever seen. It had always been a place for the two to go that would lift their spirits and give them purpose and hope. When the other two people came into the picture, the glass just got put under too much pressure from trying so hard to include their little pieces in it too. Only, it was just meant for the two of them. For this was very special glass. It was made by God Himself just like the boy and the girl were. It was designed for the two who would provide the foundation for these two little beings it rendered as a result of its union. That light represented the very special connection between that boy and that girl. Only, she had forgotten that, and he just got angry at her for it instead of taking her by the hand and showing her. And they forgot about their light. So, for the first time, that wonderful, light was gone. The glass had broken and the flame had disappeared.

But in the darkness, the two picked up the pieces and found a way to put them back together. For they came to remember that they really missed that glowing light-and the meaning it gave them and how it held them together. They longed for its warmth comfort and shelter. They realized that no one else’s could fit and make it glow like it had all those years. So, they worked and worked, and slowly but surely, those cracks mended and the light began to shine again.

Only there were a few cracks that didn’t heal properly, and they were once again faced with the job of mending it. This seemed so hard to do. They were sad and tired and doubtful. They felt like they had just done all that, and really just wanted to blame the other one for the improper fixes. Those cracks had the words “regret” and “unforgiving” and “anger” and “fear” written all over them…..

So, this is where my story ends-or maybe where it begins. Relationships can be hard work sometimes, but it is always worth it for the one you really love and belong with.

This is my story, and everyone has one. I think mine will have a picture of two people riding off into the sunset together...forever.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Life's irritating mysteries

Why is it that a CD can not be re-used? If you put ONE song on a CD, it renders it useless-even if there is plenty of room left. It is just ridiculous.

Why doesn't Sam's have an express lane? It's not like you can avoid spending $100 every time you walk in, they could at least help you out with a 5 or less lane.

And why do we long to be adults when we are teenagers; and then we spend most of our adult years missing being younger? I remember thinking I could not wait grow up and make my own rules, and eat whatever I want and go to bed whenever I wanted. Now, I would love it I could eat my parent's cooking every night. I would love to sleep a lot more, I don't care about being in charge-I just wish I didn't have as much responsibility.

Why does the lane I get in always slow dow? It is especially true when I am in a hurry. I am also quite irritated when someone cuts me off then goes super slow. Why?

Why is it so much harder to lose weight than gain it? You never see weight gain products make the infomercial scene.

Why do my kids go nuts the minute I get on the phone? Even as infants they did it. They also do this when I am having company and trying feverishly to figure out how to make my home look remotely habitable.

Why do my kids manage to get scrapes and cuts on their faces right before pictures?

Why do things that are healthy for you rarely taste very good?-and why is it SO expensive to eat healthy foods? I remember when I was growing up, eating out was not something we could afford to do very often. Now, eating fresh food at home is harder to afford. I believe my family could live much cheaper on McDonald's and Taco Bell. I am not saying this because we should or we will, I just don't know when this shift happened. Eating out used to something only wealthy people did.

Why are the DMV and the Post office always crowded? Often times there are many people who are working there but they are not helping customers. I always get up to the front about the time someone goes on break. It is the same thing as driving by construction sites-they are RARELY actually doing any work.

Why are there so many Starbucks, Panda Expresses and Tokyo Joe's? Who is going to all these places? They just keep popping up.

What ever happened to Marie Calendar's frozen Mac and Cheese? It was the best!

Why do they make lemon and orange Jolly Rancher's? No one eats those.

Why does Tyler get bloody noses all the time? And why is it in the middle of the night so often?

Why is it such a hardship when moms have to go out of town leaving husbands at home with the kids, but it is just a no brainer when husbands travel? Honestly!

Why don't men sort the laundry? Why don't they use dryer sheets?

Why do kids like SpongeBob so much? That is a terrible show.

Why do public restrooms have toilet paper that is impossible to turn?

Why do people feel the need to one up you all the time? I hate the expression "been there, done that"; there is no reason to ever say that to anyone ever.

Why is it so likely to get your order messed up at the drive through?

This list could go on for days! Please feel free to add some if you are reading.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tender Hearted

I was driving to my son's basketball practice, and the radio show I was listening to was talking about a teenaged girl who had been battling cancer. She recently lost the battle but the show was doing a fundraiser on her behalf. The story was so sad that I honestly started crying on the drive over-we are talking 10 mintutes.

I don't consider myself someone who cries all the time. Some people (my mom comes to mind) cry very easily. I dont think of myself as one of them. In fact, it is my goal not be a giant crying person. I don't know why it's such a 4 alarm drill around my husband but when he detects I have been crying, he is merciless in his investigation. I just want to be left alone for fear I might cry harder-and instead, here comes the incessant pokes, "Are you crying?" What are you crying about?" Seriously, what do you think? Of course I am. I just heard the saddest story on the radio. Stories of children or animals that are harmed always create a faucet in me. I have always been like that.

I remember in the 6th or 7th grade, we went on a field trip to a school for handicapped children. This was in the early 80's when handicapped kids went to separate schools. I still cry about it when I think about it. Those kids were the sweetest, happiest, most grateful kids I had ever met. I could not believe it.

I remember crying when the stray dog behind our apartment in Iran had puppies and one of them didn't make it. I think my mom actually reinacted its survival so I would stop crying.

I also cried as a senior in high school when I met a homeless man on a field trip. He wasn't even that endearing-just a bit of a drunk who took an interest in talking to a bunch of 17 year olds. His name was Whitey. I just figured he was down on his luck, and it made me so sad.

I cannot bear to read stories about people abusing their children. Right after I had my first son, I was home, being all hormonal and post pardom. I will never forget the little boy named Tanner whose unspeakably evil and undeserving parents shook him to death. He was about the same age as my three week old baby at the time. I cried for hours. I can still close my eyes and picture that little baby.

I can't stand to watch the Caylee Anthony story that is in the news every day-the one where her mom is in prison for killing her. I started tearing on the treadmill last week when they were showing pictures of this child who was 2 years old when she was killed by her own mom.

I also have a hard time watching certain movies. As incredibly well done as they are, movies like Schindler's List, Blood Diamond, Hotel Riwanda, Saving Private Ryan...they just tear me up. Mostly because they are true-and I literally hurt for the people they depict. I hate the thought of people suffering.

My first lab, Casey, had to have surgery on his knee when he was 6. I cried my eyes out when I went to see him the first night after his surgery. He couldn't come home with me so I crouched down in his holding pen, and he and I just cried together. Then, about 6 months before he died, I took him to the last of about 10 vets to see if I could find a way to heal him and make him a young dog again who would live for many more years. Of course, the vet saw right through me, but could not bear to tell me that wasn't possible as tears just streamed down my face. So, he sent me home with a ton of pain killers for him so my sweet best friend could hang on until I could face the inevitable.

I am the mom who cries when her kids get vaccinations, I have to fight back tears when my kids tell me they didn't get invited to a birthday party, or someone was mean to one of them at school. When one of my kids is sick or gets hurt, I long for it to be me instead. I am just a giant wuss really. It is the good and the bad about me I suppose. A very good friend of mine name Joy once told me I was tender hearted. That is a nice way of saying cry baby-but I'll take it!

The Gym

It seems that you are either a fitness person or not. Most of my life I have been one. I have been the fit girl at the gym, and I have been the fat girl at the gym. It is MUCH easier to be the fit girl. Currently, I am somewhere in between the two. I never thought it possible. I am not out of shape, in fact, I am in pretty good shape. However, I am heavier than I have ever been (not counting pregnancy years). I always assumed being a gym rat would keep me out of that dreaded battle of the bulge. But naturally, genes and age have tipped the scales-literally.

I remember when I was younger (and thinner), I found it strange to see people in the gym working so hard but still looking a bit heavy or thick. I especially remember walking into an exercise class thinking it wasn't going to be a good workout from the looks of the instructor. Yet, most of the time, it was a good workout. Now I understand why.

At times I have considered just scrapping the whole idea of going to the gym. After all, it doesn't seem to be working at the constant remodeling of my physique I have been engaged in for as long as I can remember. Sadly, I have always longed to look better than I do. Even when I was incredibly thin, I was never swimsuit model material. What a waste to have spent all those years wishing I looked better. Looking back, I didn't look bad at all. It also scares me to think think what in the world I am going to say in 10 years about how I look now!

Regardless of the fruits of my labor-or fruitless labor- I have decided the gym is just something I need to do for myself. It's not really for the results (clearly), and it's not because I am training for some huge event-although being a mother to two active little boys does require a lot of energy. It is mostly just the sixty or so minute commitment I make to myself. It is just my time-no one else's. I can pop on my Ipod and listen to cheesy tunes as loud as I want. No on can bother me, or ask for something or call me-nothing. The world slows down for just a short while. Whether I go once a week, or five times a week, it's very important to me to go. When I don't go, I feel like crap, and have low energy. I am just in a better mood when I am in shape-even if I do look more like a cheeseburger model than a runway model. Some people scrapbook, others read or, I just like the gym.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Coach

This is an old post. I wrote it for Paul (and the other coaches) for the end of year little league baseball banquet. He really inspired me, and this is one of my favorite things I have written about him. And today's theme is Paul by the way!

It takes a special kind of person to coach a team like this. We want you to know how much we appreciate you all:

Thank you for working so hard and being so steadfast in your commitment to this team. You helped us become better ball players and better sportsman. Thanks for playing catch with us, chasing balls, throwing balls, hiting us with balls, helping us find our gloves and caps (EVERY INNING); for cheering us on, never losing your cool-except when it was YOUR kid. Thanks for braving the famous Colorado spring weather-which always seemed to sandwhich the coldest days when we played between those rare warm ones, which we were off. Thanks for enduring grouchy umpires, over caffeinated opposing coaches, and classic little league innings that just make you scratch your head. Thanks for celebrating our victories and encouraging us through our losses. You never gave up on us, you gave all you had to give (probably more than we even know)every game, every practice, every week.

Behind every good childhood memory, experience, opportunity to grow is a tired, selfless, patient, giving parent. Thank you for being you-my hero, my coach, my dad

June 2008,

the mighty windham dolphins

I don't say enough nice things

My husband is a good man. But I don't tell him often enough. Being such an expressive person, it never occurred to me that I had such an absense of nice things to say about him on my blog. There is actually quite a lot to say:

Paul is a brilliant athlete-and he makes it look so effortless. When he has the ball, or he is up to bat, or he takes the field, there is just a sense of comfort and relief. He just belongs there. He has also passed this wonderful gift along to his kids.

He is a great dad-he loves his boys more than life itself. There is no doubt in my mind that he would take a bullet for his kids, and everything he does in life, he does with them in mind. He never scrimps on them, he wrassels every night with them, he goes to all their events-school, sports, whatever. He has been the only dad at school functions before. He makes their lunches, fixes their hair, buys them cool shoes, fixes toys that break, plays ball relentlessly with them, he carries them when they are tired. He tells them he loves them.

He has a remarkable talent for coaching. He just knows how to connect-he can give you just the smallest bit of advice or adjustment, and it makes a world of difference. He is even more talented with young kids. Not everyone who is a good athlete makes a good coach, but Paul has an incredible quality for it. I admire and respect it. I don't think he even realizes it. My heart skips a beat when I see him take the mound at Jackson's little league coach pitch games-I know he is nervous, and he makes it look so easy. That is pure heart.

He is so dedicated to his career. He works his heart out at a job he really doesn't like that much. He has become a very succesful and respected man at work which he really downplays. I am so proud of him.

He has the best chest in the world, and I LOVE to cuddle with him. My head fits perfectly in the space below his neck on his chest. I love when he kisses my forehead. I wish we did that more.

He carries things that are heavy, and he takes out trash, scoops the yard, shovels snow, always drives, holds doors, holds my hand when we are in crowded places, warms up my car, gives me his jacket when I am cold.

He is freakishly good at fantasy football! Seriously.

He is not a picky eater-and I love this about him. I can cook something that just sucks and he is grateful and eats it anyway. When I make something that is good-it is tenfold as rewarding, so it really motivates me to want to be a good cook.

He is willing to update and upgrade his wardrobe, and he looks awesome in the modern clothes he wears. Such a sharp dressed man! He looks so hot when he goes to work every morning. And he manages that while still being very manly.

He calls/emails me with updates on the sports scene. I love it! We talk sports all the time, and even though we argue over it sometimes, I really enjoy the conversation.

He is my favorite person in the world to ski with. It is harder than you would think to find someone who is the EXACT same skier as you are. We are just that. The other person on that list would be Debbi-Paul and I LOVE to ski with Deb!

He is a huge movie buff. In fact, he has a ridiculous knowledge of 80's movie and music trivia. I have tried to stump him with my Ipod mixes, and it just cannot be done. I make fun of him for it, but honestly, I am pretty impressed!

He plans wonderful dates-very good at finding great restaurants and always up for trying new things. I love drinking wine with him. There is no one better to go out to dinner or happy hour with.

He loves to travel; he has a huge sense of adventure.

He is good at math, he is very organized, good at remembering things, he never flakes-he is super reliable.

He takes good care of himself. He goes to the gym, tries to watch what he eats, he hardly ever gets sick.

We both hate to camp-our idea of camping is a condo. The key here is that we are both the same. He is very out-doorsy-just likes the condo life-just like me.

He used to be so in love with his dog. I always thought that was such a nice quality. He showed such an awesome display of man loving his dog. I know he has never recovered from losing his best friend, Casey, but I do miss that side of him. It was such a beautiful friendship.

He is always warm-inexplicably. He can hold a carton of ice cream in the store, and his hands don't get cold! I can't understand it.

He a very fun person; really, he is a giant child-he will play water guns with grown men, go down water slides at water parks, bust his a$$ roller blading, ride roller coasters all day long, light fireworks, ride dirt bikes-with no caution, go white water rafting-and sit in the front, ride ATV's-just balls out, take out people trying to catch a foul ball (he has caught 2 believe it or not), dress up in hilarious costumes for Halloween, snowmobile up hills he has no business going up, try the hottest dish in any restaurant (then regret it later), hang off the bow of a boat to try and touch a dolphin, go to a sporting event every chance he gets, the list never ends. He just cracks me up!

He and I both dream of going to the all the tennis grand slams; and every football and baseball stadium in the country someday. I can't think of anyone I would rather do that with. He is so fun at those things-it's like we are both about 12 years old.

As I reflect on the things I have always known about it, I wonder if he knows these things. I worry that he does not. I also worry that he does not always feel appreciated and loved like he should. He can be so masculine sometimes, that I forget he may actually have these needs too. I am sorry I don't tell him enough about all the great, funny, unforgettable attributes I see in him. I hope to do a better of job of that in the future.