Friday, August 29, 2014

This is a link to a mud run I participated in.  Look in the dirty, filthy adults file.  Look for the pink running shorts and super sexy legs.  Just kidding on the legs part.  I was lucky to be in quite a few pics since I was running with the photographer's wife.  Or not so lucky, depending on the picture.  It was super fun and not actually that muddy because there was so much water.  I did end up with a gritty shoe full of small rocks, though.

In other news my baby started kindergarten this week.  Watching her shiny brown hair bounce onto the bus was brutal.  Like a knife to the heart.  I followed the bus to school to make sure she knew how to get from the bus to her classroom.  As soon as she knew where her classroom was she ran off to the playground without a backward glance and I sat in the parking lot and spied on her until the bell rang with my heart bleeding all over the car.  Which doesn't matter because it was quite dirty anyway.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I was amused and disturbed today to find out that Alma and Violet have engaged in a practice they call "Train Potty."  According to them it is very useful when two people have to go to the bathroom at the same time, although I suspect there are size limitations as to how big a person can be to make use of Train Potty.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Winter Hatred 2012--A collection of Haikus

Snow falls soft, lovely
Atmospheric dirt descends
Now it is ugly

Christmas in Thailand
Spicy, happy sweat dripping
A distant mem'ry

I crawl into bed
Icy feet seek Grant's warmth
He shrieks like a girl

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My kids, when learning to talk, have all made pretty much the same grammar mistakes. Drived, sleeped, putted. Using object pronouns for subject pronouns. Not using the adverbial  -ly properly. Etc. But Violet has been regularly using one that I haven't heard yet. She's taken the words am and not and created the contraction amn't.

Violet, are you being naughty?
No! I amn't!

 I find a lot of these grammar accidents fascinating because they are usually arrived at logically and you can see how the child has internalized so many of the rules just not all of the exceptions. But other times words and sentences come completely from left field and that's even better!

 What are some good ones you've heard?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I never considered that I would be proud to have a skateboarder for son, but I am! The amount of diligence he puts into this impresses me. This is an example of what the kids like to video when I am not around. It makes me laugh every time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day was pretty good this year, I actually got a present! I had to make breakfast, but I was excused from lunch and dinner and they only left me a little bit of a mess to clean up at the end of the day. But, just like every year, all day I had a problem with the focus on how Mother's Day is a day for women who have had children. Because I don't believe that's right. I remember a Mother's Day Sunday many years ago when I had just found out that an IUI had failed. This was approaching about three years of trying to get pregnant and I thought that Sunday that i would implode from bitterness, jealously and unfairness. Another woman in the ward had lost her baby just a day after he was born not quite a year earlier and was pregnant again and I was also burning with shame that the only thing I could feel for her was envy. The next Mother's Day found me just barely pregnant from an IVF treatment and feeling like I finally "deserved" to be part of Mother's Day. I was so young. I didn't know that getting pregnant didn't make me a mother any more than putting on a gold medal made me an Olympic athlete. There are still plenty of days when I deserve the title of mother about as much as I deserve the title of Olympic athlete. That is to say, not at all. Since those days, when I finally pulled my self out of my own narcissism enough to notice the people around me, I found this....a whole world of women who have never birthed a child themselves that teach me more about mothering than most women who have. I've often thought about the scripture story of the Good Samaritan that teaches that a neighbor is not someone who lives near you, but someone who helps you. I've seen a plethora of real life parables that have convinced me that a mother is not a woman who has birthed a child but a woman who has love and nurturing in her heart. Heck, if growing a child in your abdomen and pushing it out were all it took to be a mother then there would be no need for the Division of Child Services. My list of childless mother's who inspire me is long. It includes the famous--like Mother Theresa--and women that I've met in my everyday life. Many of them are in Taiwan. Taiwanese culture is such that society in general feels a collective responsibility toward children and while I lived there I was helped along greatly in raising my kids by young and old, parous and nulliparous alike. I loved it that Taiwanese culture did not make the ridiculous assumption that only parous women know something about child raising. Just recently I've met another woman who is so poised and intelligent and perfectly embodies Motherhood. The first few times I met her I was unsure which children were hers because she was so attentive and loving to every child in the room, including mine. Once, Alma made a comment about a craft he was working on, nothing super witty, but it was cute and childish so of course I noticed it. But I looked up to see that she had noticed, too and she said, "Oh, I just love him." Her sincerity astounded me (not least because Alma is so energetically boyish that most people are annoyed by him long before they have a chance to notice his sweetness) and I thought, "I want to be like her." How many of us women save our best love and our tenderest nurturing for the children we grow ourselves? Haven't we all seen the woman who lavishes true love and care on her own children, but can't seem to muster any real affection for the child of another? Like a chef that eats with disdain dishes made by others. It is no great feat to love your own children. Any imbecile can do that. It really would take a heart of stone to not love your own kids. But to see the gem that is in every child and treat them as the precious beings they are, whether they are yours or not, that is difficult and, I think, women who have this quality are the best mothers. So many times I've wished that my older, more experienced self could go back in time and tell my younger, hurting self that bitterness, selfishness and envy all preclude love and those were things that made me not a mother, not my biological inability to conceive. There are so many ways to be a mother, all out there for the taking, and I rejected all of them but the one I wanted. And because I'm a dolt, I didn't realize how wrong I was until many years after I finally did get what I wanted. To this day, I wonder in my heart, if I had, in the end, been denied biological children, would I have ever learned that lesson? Consequently, I've spent the last decade of Mother's Days wondering if I have come far enough yet to deserve the title.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I am so done with them.

One friend I had to take home at about 3 am because she was scared. Six months later she tried again and I had to stay up with her half the night because she was scared at our house but also scared of getting in trouble if she went home in the middle of the night.

Another friend has slept over about four times over the last year and has wet the bed EVERY time. I resorted to making her sleep on a shower curtain but she still manages to get just enough urine on every blanket and pillow that I have to wash everything. We finally said no more, but she keeps begging Lily and forces Lily to keep begging us.

Then, the best of all. The boys had a friend over. And he had diarrhea. In the bed. In the middle of the night. And he didn't tell us. Neither did the boys, until the next evening when Eliseo mentioned that he'd woken up and his knee was all wet and he thought he'd had an accident but, whew, it wasn't him, it was just that Friend had gotten diarrhea on his knee. This fact was somehow, inexplicably, such a relief to Eliseo that he suddenly remembered to mention it so long after the event. Then I, myself, had to go search and sniff out all the soiled places and bedding and do about 1000 loads of laundry.

And I was so hoping that 2011 would be the year when, at the end, looking back on it, I wouldn't have anything embarrassing or disgusting to remember.