Monday, March 28, 2011

hope this makes you smile

Hello everyone.  I know it's been awhile.  Sometimes life just gets a little busy.

I captured a little skier/rider creativity that made me smile and thought I'd share.  Hope it gives you a smile too.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


We all need it.  It’s easy to get lost without it and I've had a big dose of it this past week.  I can’t think of anything to write – anything worthy that is given tragedies abroad.

Maybe I am struck with fear.  It started with waking to the light vibrations of my cell on the nightstand.  My sister calling at 5:30 am did not mean anything good.  And the fear in her voice calling to alert me to the tsunami warning, knowing we would be asleep and my family caught off-guard.  We were in no danger but my sister’s fear was real and it was contagious. And people here in California died because of what happened over there. People who didn't heed the warnings, didn't pay attention to the fear.

I live in earthquake country.  Fear of a big earthquake is very real.  Maybe that’s why I spent over $500 on groceries this weekend.  Suddenly jolted.  Jolted knowing this could happen to me, to us, to my family.  Here.  Anytime.  I need to be prepared.  This is something I can control in a world full of fears.

Fear of nuclear fallout heading my way.  Unfounded fear circulating, viral.  Fear of not knowing the true threat in the event of a full nuclear meltdown.

I am crushed by the ignorance.  The jokes.  It is not funny.  People lost their lives.  Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, babies.  Especially the little ones.  Real people.  People with families.  People who were loved and now gone.

And the references to Pearl Harbor.  And the comments on Facebook.  How can people be so heartless?  I think they have never known loss, deep, profound loss.  We need compassion not ignorance.

How many sacrifices were made during the disaster?  How many are still being made?  The "Faceless 50" staying behind, frantically trying to keep things under control.  Knowing the risks and and accepting their fates.

All this while knowing the world is still turning.  It provides quite the perspective.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

i'm a very good driver

As a mother I do a lot of driving.  Take a Tuesday for example.  I drive the oldest and drop him off at school in the morning and then make my way to the BART station.  If I’m lucky (and early enough) I’ll get a spot.  If not, then I have to drive back home and wait for the 10:00 am parking to open up and drive back down there.  Of course, after work, I drive home.   Tuesdays they boys have Boy Scouts so I drive one kid to the middle school, and then I drive back home.  A short time later I have to pick up the oldest from lacrosse practice at the high school, and then I drive back home.  Finally it’s time to pick up the kid from Boy Scouts, and then I drive back home.  You get the picture. 

Winter provides even more hours on the road with our weekend trips up to the mountains for skiing.  Three hours (if we’re lucky) each way.  Every weekend.  You see by all this driving how I must be a very good driver.  And I am (as I pat myself on the back).  It’s all the other folks out there that make me scratch my head and wonder if they got their license from a Cracker Jack box.   Where did some of these people learn to drive?!

I’ve categorized them.  Yes, I have.  I haven’t earned the nickname “Poster Child for Road Rage” for nothing.

First let me tell you about the Magician.  These are the people driving on the highway who put their blinkers on and immediately move into your lane.  They assume their magical prowess causes you to evaporate into a POOF of air simply because they put on their blinker.  You just don’t exist anymore.

Of course there’s the Tailgater.  You know the type, riding up your rear so close it reminds you of a dog sniffing another dog’s butt.  Only they’re not friendly and wagging their tails.  These people are just plain rude (and stupid because I like to break suddenly to teach them a lesson).  What really gets me irked is when someone tailgates me when I have a slowpoke in front of me.  Listen pal, I can’t move any faster than the person in front of me so back off buddy!

My least favorite is the Traffic Regulator.  Traffic regulators are also known as egotists.  These are the folks that, on a highway, will ride in the left lane even when not passing.  If, however, you decide that you’d like to go around them, they will speed up immediately to prevent that from happening.  You see, they are (of course) driving at the perfect speed and think that you should not drive any faster.  They must keep you in your place – behind them.  At all costs.  These same people you follow for extended periods of time on a long, winding mountain road wishing for a passing lane and when it at long last comes, he hits the gas pedal at break-neck speed eclipsing your ability to pass.

Okay, wait.  I remembered one more – definitely tied for least favorite – the Moving Roadblock.   This is a version of the Traffic Regulator only the motivation is different.  Where the Traffic Regulator is an egotist, the Moving Roadblock is suffering from obliviosity.  Typically no intentional malice, but still just as frustrating.  These are the folks that drive in the left lane and don’t pass either.  What makes it utterly frustrating is that they are side-by-side with the guy in the right lane effectively “blocking” your ability to get around.  

Do you know these people?  Where did they learn to drive?  Have any more to add to the list?  I'm sure someone's got a comment about cell phones and driving.  Or how about those people who drive up in the exit lane and suddenly cut in?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pssst...check it out!

Today I'm Guest Gabbing over at The Mommy Mambo!  A regular in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, Jennifer and I are of the "three boys club".  Or make that four if you count the husbands!  See what she's all about.  I think you'll enjoy - I know I do.

So go - go now!  Leave me some cheer and pretend that I'm not failing at parenting. Or, as Jennifer says, Failing Fabulously.  Now that's some good alliteration!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

the age of 4

As time keeps ticking by and the kids are getting older, I think back to earlier days.  Days of younger years.  Days of different challenges.  Days of smaller feet and smaller clothes and smaller problems.  They were also the days of better sleeping (yes I actually slept better when my kids were younger), bigger hugs and longer snuggle time.

When the subject of "best age" comes up, I am usually quick to respond that my favorite age of a child is between the age of about nine months to 18 months.  I really do love this age.  Two of my three were sleeping through the night right around nine months and there is nothing better for a new mother than a complete 8 hours.  I realize this has nothing to do with the kid.   It's all about me, the mom, and my mental health, but still it helps make this a golden age.

The first round of teething has been endured.  Once those first few teeth break through, the whole process just seems more manageable, for both me and the kid.  And isn't that how it is with everything - the first time is the hardest?

And they can move.  My babies were pretty hefty as infants and it took them awhile to figure out how to get mobile.  Once they got that, wow, they were so very happy.  A happy baby means a happy mom.

They change so much during these few months.  Moving, growing, walking, talking, eating new things, exploring all the time.  The world is theirs.  They cling like a monkey when you cart them around, that is until they start pushing away.  And that's when this golden age winds down.  Before the two's.  Before the power struggles.  Before the wild child sets in. 

If I think a bit more though, I think the real golden age is the age of four.  Diapers are done.  Bottles are behind us.  Independence sets in.  They are old enough to get themselves dressed and find a snack.  I remember being amazed when I witnessed my child at preschool pouring his own milk from a pitcher into his cup.  He could do that all by himself! 

The range of entertaining activities is limitless.  Crayons, legos, Batman, Spiderman, but before Star Wars.  Matchbox cars, Speed Racer and Dora and Diego.  Books, books, books.

But they're still your baby.  Still young enough that they want you, need you.  They want to snuggle and their nighttime tuck-ins.  Stories, stories, stories - the love of a good book or two or three.  Still small enough to crawl into your bed when a bad dream invades their sleep.  Still freely giving huge hugs.  You are everything in their world, but they are also their own being.

And then school starts.  The world begins to change.  Slowly at first, but the divide begins, never to return to that special age, that age of 4.