Friday, April 29, 2005

big day at our house

Today’s the day. After 18 months in Japan, my parents fly home. Actually they’ve been on planes for 12 hours already. It takes almost 24 hours to fly home from Japan. It’s a long ways. My whole family is excited, but I’ve been getting a kick out of my sister Cathy calling all her sisters to keep us updated on the countdown. We have managed to talk our sister Rebecca into staying an extra day (She’s driving from Portland today and staying for the weekend.) My husband has a long day of work today. I’m already worrying about him getting off work in time. I don’t want to miss the big welcome home at the airport.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bet you don't know what Giraffes have in common with Louis Carrol

We had no idea the variety of noises among wildlife until Matt clued us in. Silly us, we thought giraffes didn’t make much noise at all, if any. And deer! They are pretty silent creatures. Kangaroos, rabbits. All quiet. This is not the case apparently.

Matt first showed us his talent for discovering the hidden sounds in animals with his giraffe obsession that started twelve months ago. He would name animals by the sound they made. Since no one told him what a giraffe “said,” he found out for himself. He would raise his little dimpled arm over his head and say “deeedle deeedle deedle!” yup. That’s a giraffe, or a deedle if you’re Matty.

Now deer and kangaroos and bunnies are another matter altogether. Those all say their own names. “Deerdeerdeer” really quickly and clipped.

Who knew my son was such a genius?

Where did you see that elephant?

I dragged my husband to a beginning photography class last night. Not that I need one but I thought it would be fun for him to have one. Mostly so he would take pictures. It might be kind of fun to have pictures of me around. Of course, I say this as a person who hasn’t owned a full length mirror in her entire life. I may change my mind later.

Sweetie, head and shoulders only please!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

when all is said and done . . .

it's the end of the day that is the best. The house is quiet. I can hear the hum of the refridgerator, the quiet rush of the furnace, and the little noises as the children shift in their beds.

another thing in my life I love. that makes twelve.

Friday, April 22, 2005

crafty me

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yup.  i'm sewing again.  the straps are interchangable and revesable.  I'm so impressed with myself ;) please note that the strap on the left matches my new belts. it's revesible with the red being on the other side. you'll have to imagine that.

i may have to get serious tomorrow again. i've been entirely too perky the last few days. i blame it on very funny stuff. she's got a potty mouth sometimes. just a warning for those who care.

Copy Cat

with all the listing going on on scrapping blogs, I felt a strong urge to make my own. not that I could make a blog with the same list theme as someone else, because that would ruin my delusions of being a creative, original person. can't have that. So here's my list and we're all going to pretend that it's brilliant. Thanks.

Ten Reasons I love my life:

1. Baby raspberries. the. cutest. thing. ever. even if her daddy doesn't think they are so cute when I have her blow them at him over the phone. He's nuts.

2. Three year old brain. "I'm a monster!" "ahhh, a monster!" "haha, I"m not a monster anymore. I'm Bubba."

3. carmel chocolate shortbread. enough said.

4. spending the day in my pjs.

5. Rebel XT. yet again--enough said.

6. Paper. lost of paper. pretty paper in pretty colors. in stacks. and alphabets. metal ones, rub on ones, sticker ones. RIBBONS! striped ribbons. lovely pretty ribbons. sigh. good times.

7. Nine year old with her daddy's musical talent. she's very shy unless you stick a microphone in front of her, then she belts it out likes she's the next Charlotte Church.

8. a six year old who thinks whatever he's just figured out doing is the coolest thing ever, be it riding a bike, jumping rope, or wrestling.

9. Blogs. current adiction that is totally affecting my writing voice in case you couldn't tell. just be glad my current addiction isn't Jane Austen.

10. five year old voice. high and sweet, completely masking the emotional hurricane blowing just under the surface.

11. the brown eyed, smoothed voiced, sexy man that shares this life with me. absolutely the best part.

so it's 11 things. I have a good life. you'll just have to be jealous. ;)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

wedding pic

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another wedding picture

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Wedding pics

I got to take pictures at my BIL's wedding last month.  I loved the oppertunity.  I loved that I got to do digital pictures with my new digital camera.  (Love, love, love my digital, btw) but I am not loving the post process.  I'm not sure what kind of work to do when.  It's hard to look at a picture and say, "yes, they will want that" or "nope, tosser!"  The reception pictures are what's holding me back.  do they want five pictures of them dancing when there was only the one song?  do they want pics of just the guests hanging around?  how about the cake table?  I'm trying to think of the pics I would have liked to have had from my wedding and I'm coming up blank.  got the formals done, its just the candids left.  sigh.  and my brother wants me to do his candids for him when he gets married next month, lol!  I think I need the full version of Photo Shop so I can do the whole batch processing thing. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

this is Matt

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He's my three year old and a very goofy boy.  He loves to pretend he's a dinosaur or a monster.  His favorite song is twinkle twinkle little star.  he loves to twist my hair around his fingers (i am thinking hair will become a life long obsession with this kid) He wants to be just like his older brother and sisters.  He begs to make cookies with me.  he throws fits and refuses to be potty trained, so as much as I love him, I really just want to ship him off to someone else for a week to potty train this kid.   get it done and over with.  I'm not very good at it anyway.  I have heard all the tricks, but they don't help if you're not consistent.

so,anyone want a three year old for a week?  he's really cute.  but please don't bring him home until he's potty trained!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Just a reminder

recently there was a discussion on a favorite message board of mine that dealt with how the trend frenzy and our own feelings of inadiquacy robbed us of creativity in our scrapbooking. I want to save what I posted, because I think there will be moments when I forget the feelings I had reading that thread. I will need to remind myself. So this post is for me. my reminder of what is important:

I'll tell you all where I am. Lost somewhere between obsessed with being published and not caring at all. it swings wildly from day to day. However, I have completely tossed all pretense at being inspired by what others are doing in the industry. I don't look at on line galleries. I read the articles in the mags and enjoy the layouts but I don't make note of very much. I found my inspiration outside scrapbooking. I found something that makes me want to cut paper again. I went back to what I loved and what I was passionate about outside of paper and photos. It has had an interesting side affect. I'm not following the trends as much. It's a very freeing feeling.

My pages haven't changed that much. I'm not sure most people could even see a shift. I've just changed my attidude and it's made a big difference.

I'm going to just keep walking past the popular girls and not pay them much attention, just like I did in High School. I'm going to do my own thing. If that means I never get published again, then so be it. I'm tired of chasing the brass ring when I have a gold one already in my hand.


My baby is my last baby. Logically, I know that this is right for us. Five is all we can really support. I know I would not be able to be the best mommy for more. So it’s good that we are done. I’m glad I will never have to be pregnant again and go through labor again. I will throw a party when I buy my last bag of diapers, which will be sometime in the next couple of years. Last is good.

However, there are moments when my heart aches because she is my last. This is the last baby that will love me unconditionally. The last baby that will reach for me first. The last baby that will cuddle into my shoulder in complete security. The last baby that is wholly mine.

So, if I hold her more than is necessary, and give in to her cries a little more often, it’s only because I will have no more babies to hold. I am seeing how last babies are so easy to spoil. There will be no more babies to spoil later, so we must give all that love to this one.

I’m holding my last baby as she sleeps right now. I could lay her down, but how many more chances will I have to hold a sleeping seven and a half month old baby who loves me unconditionally?

Friday, April 15, 2005

all fixed

it has come to my attention(thanks Jess) that my blog was only allowing registered members to post. i changed the settings so anybody can post now. wouldnt' want to miss those fawning messages from my rabid fans . . . what? oh right. don't have any rabid fans. ok, then my friends can post. which is good. I like my friends. I do not like, however, spammers and meanies, so those people can go post on someone else's blog.

I think this is enough posting for today. more tomorrow. I might even feel philisophical. I'm sure you can't wait, can you?

sewing on fabric (almost)

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I used my sewing machine for something other than paper!  yea me!  I like them.  yes, it's trendy but I think that's what I like best about them.  I'm so funny though, when something turns out well, I'll get so excited about it, I'll want to make more.  Since i really don't need any more belts (this makes three) I think I'll resist.  Unless of course, someone else wants one.   Anybody want a belt? LOL! : )

talking to myself

yup. that's what i'm doing. so, for my own reference here's steve's blog address:

yes, i have turned him to the dark side. bwwwhahaaahaaaaahaaa!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

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it's going to take awhile to figure out the best size for these photos.  This is my baby.  isn't she beautiful?

just playing with pictures

so I finally set up some free webhosting of my photos. I did photobucket so, you know, if my blog happens to be the most fabulous, linked thing out there I'll know because my photos will be replaced with that annoying photo bucket out of bandwidth message. see, method to my madness. it helps to think these things through all the way. I could just add a ticker to my blog, but that would be too pedestrian and needy, don't you think? (of course, I"m kidding and I really do want to add a site ticker. just need to find one. gotta Google.)

Peeping Amy

I feel a bit like a voyeur recently. I have found the blog sites of some of my scrapbooking heroes. I have no connection to these women besides the emotional connection I have had to their journaling over the years. They don’t know me and I have no earthly right or need to read about their lives. But I do anyway.

I love reading their stories. Many of them are wonderful writers, witty and touching without being maudlin. I get inspiration from reading their entries. But then again, what good is that “inspiration,” it’s nothing but another rationalization for reading them. I know that they put the blogs out there so they can share their stories, and I doubt that they would mind knowing that I read them. Even so, I find myself feeling guilty sometimes, like I am hiding in the bushes outside their living room and peeking into their lives.

I have yet to leave a comment on Ali or Cathy’s website. (If you are a scrapbooker you know who I’m talking about. If you aren’t, well, you wouldn’t know them even if I gave you a last name.) I would like to but I feel like the nerd trying to butt into the cool kids circle. I suppose leaving comments is the polite thing to do. It’s what I would want readers of my blog to do. If something makes you think, or strikes you as funny, leave a comment. I love comments. I still can’t bring myself to comment on theirs. I just peek in their windows. The voyeur with the binoculars.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

three year old are weird

funny matt conversation last night. we're trying to potty train. not going so well because mommy is nothing if not inconsistant. anyway, I tried to talk him through the process again.

Mommy: what do you do when you need to go potty? you say "mommy, I have to go potty." now you say it.

Matt: Mommy I have to go potty.

Mommy: good. what do we do next?

Matt: (something that had nothing to do with potty)

Mommy: ok, we go in the bathroom and we pull your pants down. Then what?

Matt: Happy Birthday!!

Friday, April 08, 2005

tunnel vision

I think I might be slightly overprotective as a mother. On the whole, I pretty much let my kids do what they feel like doing and mostly this does not involve blowing things up or breaking international law, so we're ok.

They do like to dig though and this is where my problem lies.

There is an empty lot behind our house that has been sitting empty for years. Its very uneven and would be almost impossible to build on. We've sort of let the kids use it to play. Other neighborhood kids play there too. This I don't mind. It's the digging of the forts that drive me crazy. Great big holes in the ground that could have been used to film the movie Holes.

Recently they developed two seperate big holes. These needed to be connected of course, hence the tunnel. Yes, that's right. A tunnel. Joy. dug by children and barely big enough for 10 year olds to fit through. A cave-in waiting to happen.

I have declared a moritorium on tunnel building and required that the present tunnel be filled in or opened up. I'm sure their daddy would be very disappointed in me, stiffling their creativety like that.

I'm still not letting them tunnel.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Thinking a bit too much like Juliet

Yes, up late again. Really baby needs to learn to sleep.

So, I’ve been pondering the meaning of names lately. Not the sort of meanings you find in a baby name book or find nicely framed at a mall kiosk, but the real meaning. The deep whys. (well, about as deep as I get anyway.)

In the west we name our children according to sound. It’s the feel of the name on the tongue, the cadence across the ear that draws us to the names we give our babies. There is some pretence at meaning; mothers who search baby books for the fake meanings the publishers have adopted so all names sound good. All gifts, blessings, and royalty. Deep under the sound we have associated certain sounds with certain things. K’s are strong, long E’s are feminine. Sounds go through fads as much as color or fabric. B’s and N’s, J’s and Y’s, they all have children carefully grouped on elementary school rolls all together because their mothers all liked the same sound textures on their tongues, half of whom have their names jumbled and spelled creatively so they can be the only Jordyn in class and end up being one of five.

I can trace most of my children’s names to the Hebrew meanings, but it doesn’t make their names more authentic. I don’t speak Hebrew. My ancestors have not spoken it for eons if they ever did. So the words mean nothing really, a simple definition on the page in the bible. It’s told to me; I don’t know it. It’s not part of my being the way I understand the meaning of “apple.”

A celebrity named her daughter Apple. Little Apple ought to be turning a year now. I remember the surprise and the buzz she created with her creatively ordinary name. I hated it. It’s not a name; it’s a word, a thing. But why not Apple? What is an apple? Round, juicy, the symbol of health and vigor, a sign of sexuality, of taste, of humility and plenty, a good word. A hard name to accept, because in Western culture, it’s not a name.

A name can’t be a word . . . unless you come from Asia.

I had friends in college who were from Taiwan and Hong Kong. They had Chinese names but very few went by those names. They would choose American names to go by, Amy, Dianna, John, traditional names that have lost all meaning beyond their shape. Yet their Chinese names have meaning. They are part of the language. Their true names mean something beyond the sound of the word; it means something other than the person who wears the name, giving it power and connection to the language itself. A woman is not just Hua, she is a flower, fragrant and beautiful.

I suppose in a way, I might be jealous of this connection. My name has always been so ordinary, so common. I tuned it out as a teenager because when I did hear my name called, it was not me being paged. Since then there has been a small sense of disconnection to my name, as if it wasn’t fully mine. I have slowly gathered it back to myself, but there are moments when it still rings just a bit false in my ears.

Suddenly, I’m wondering where I am going with this. I don’t know. At one am when the house is quiet, my mind is free to wander, so it does. Maybe all I’m trying to say is I’ve read a little too much Ursula Le Guin lately. I’m too caught up in Earthsea, yearning for my true name.

Or maybe I’ve just stayed up too late and I should go to bed with my little girl who’s name means beautiful according to my heart.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Wrapped up

My three year old has me quite literally wrapped around his finger. Yesterday, he sat on my lap and reached around to my hair and began playing with it, twisting around and around like he always does. “I love your hair, Mommy.” He says.

That’s the best reason I’ve ever had not to cut it.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

the swift passage of time

So, it’s my birthday. I’m sure you are now expecting a long essay on the meaning of age and time in our lives. Nope. Not feeling philosophical this morning. I hope to have a lovely day, sporting my new yellow jacket about town. Might get my haircut, might just run some errands. I will get time off from the mommy job. I’m looking forward to that.

Monday, April 04, 2005

. . . . and the rain comes down

It’s raining. Thank goodness. The winter was so dry this year. It’s nice to see some water. Living in a desert can be an interesting thing. It’s easy to forget when I can look out and see green lawns and tall trees, when the river is so close I can see the tree line from the top of my hill. It’s winters like we had that remind me of where I live.

Strange that we can all live in such a dry place but still take water for granted. I watch it run down my sink as I brush my teeth knowing that there is more behind it. I shower without thinking about how much I am using. I don’t use a dishwasher, but I would if I owned one.

So today, I will watch the rain and remember what a precious thing it is. I will enjoy the smell of wet pavement and the feel of the cool, humid air. I will give my children umbrellas and send them out to enjoy this gift we have been given today.

I love the rain.