Monday, September 26, 2011

oh, just everything

Saturday was a whirlwind of preparations, starting at 7:00 AM and ending at 2:59 pm, followed by a whirlwind of activites, food and great company. We snacked on treats from Harry's Hot Dogs, Doc Oct's Pretzels, Peter Parker Pizza Bites, Aunt May's Fresh Garden Stand, Green Goblin's Pumpkin Dip (with apples and ginger cookies), along with beverages from Your Friendly Neighborhood Drink Stop. Then the kiddos played the Tangled Web game, which they promptly outsmarted. The idea was to untangle a "web" of string left by Spidey with toys tied to each string, but they skipped all the un-necessary stuff and just untied the toys. They weren't messing around. Sadly, Nicky's best buddy got very sick all of a sudden and had to leave. They were both so sad, so we're planning a special play-date for the two of them to make it up.

We played Web the Villains outside-after spinning around on a bat to get dizzy, they had to try to hit all the villains with silly string. That got a lot of giggles, even though we discovered it's pretty hard for little fingers to squeeze out silly string.

After games, it was piñata time. Everyone had at least one chance to hit the Bad Guy while the rest of the kids chanted "We want candy!" and Nicky was excited to knock off a leg. Nothing but wholesome family fun around here. (Oh, that Spiderman piñata we bought about a month ago? Let's just say there were creatures living in it that made it un-usable. So Bad Guy was the next best option :)

Next, we decorated paper Spidey masks with glitter glue. It was fun to see their different approaches. Five year olds take their art pretty seriously, I'm finding out.

After a bit of quick cleanup, we sang Happy Birthday and had cupcakes and ice cream, and then Nicky said he was "really ready" for presents so off we went. He said "oh my gosh" over and over. We had practiced saying thank you earlier in the day, because it's so overwhelming and easy to forget when there's a huge pile of presents behind you. He still needed some reminding, but I think the excited "oh my goshes" showed his gratefulness pretty well too....

Then it was time for goodbyes and more thank-you's and prizes at the door, and then the afterglow that descends after you have a bunch of people over, and there's lots of leftover food, and new toys to play with, and a feeling of being so, so blessed, and Mommy and Papa give each other a tired and happy high five. We sat and basked it in, and I thought about how much I love this boy. He is such a kind, welcoming, expressive, surprising little guy. I asked him what his favorite part was, and he said "oh, just everything, Mommy."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Today Nicky is five. I feel like this puts me into a new parenting category; does it? I still oscillate between calling him baby and little man. Because he is both.

In the middle of the night, I heard his door close and little footsteps, then he crawled up in between us like he usually does at some point (one day last week he woke up in his own bed and cried, asking "why did I sleep lonely?"). Then, the wee hours, hearing muffled baby noises on the monitor, and finally Silas crying because his inner clock informed him it was 5:30 and therefore time to get up. I brought him back to bed with us, and nursed him, and every now and then he would reach back and pat Nicky on the back. They already have such a cute little brother bond going.

Later, when Nicky was awake, he jumped up and declared he would get dressed. We pretended like we didn't know what day it was but he was kind enough to remind us loudly. He was so excited to go to school and take a trip to the treasure chest for his birthday prize, and share his gummy worm brownies with his classmates. We ate cereal, despite my intentions to make pancakes. It was a little too much to squeeze into a school morning I guess. He got to open two presents, a Spiderman costume and some little stuffed Angry Birds. (I hope he keeps his delighted face for many more years. I will really miss that when he's too cool for it.)

After school we went out for pizza and arcade games, and he traded in all his tickets for a sheet of stickers and a plastic blow-up hammer. Sweeeeet. Now he's counting down the days until his party on Saturday.

sporting his birthday crown from school

Friday, September 16, 2011

life list

inspired by Rage Against the Minivan to work on this five minute increments, since I should really be studying right now. So here's what I came up with (including a few things I've done! Hooray.) More to come.

  • be debt free
  • start a community garden
  • plant and eat from our own backyard garden 
  • have a homebirth
  • work in Labor and Delivery
  • become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
  • teach nursing students
  • adopt a child-hopefully soon!
  • give a ridiculously generous gift (scholarship, car, house...something like that)
  • learn to use my camera
  • hike the Inca Trail
  • live in a big city
  • live abroad
  • go on a road bike trip with Ricky
  • drive up the Pacific Coast Highway
  • write a book
  • raise bilingual kids
  • visit every continent (except Antarctica, no real urge to go there)
  • spend an entire day in silence (this probably needs to wait until the kids are older)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

bread crumbs

I'm trying something new. For months I've been processing so many things in my spiritual life, and let me just say, it's been a bit overwhelming. I've driven home from church sobbing. I've spent mornings drinking up words, desperate for an answer. I've sought, I've been silent. I've felt like a "bringer of doubt", a menace.

There have been days where I've questioned whether it's still accurate to call myself a Christian, not because I don't want to follow Christ, but because I don't identify with so much of church culture. Then there are days where I've seen a spark of something so new and fresh that it fills me with hope and excitement. Blogs like Emerging Mummy and Elizabeth Esther that just about knock me over with their honesty, their descriptions that match almost exactly how I've been feeling. A nurse I work with sometimes who is like Jesus with skin on. There are bread crumbs to follow. God is gracious.

There are many things in the Bible I don't want to teach my children-at least not in the way it is conventionally taught. I'm more concerned about sheltering my boys from certain aspects of conservative Christian culture than I am about sheltering them from the things conservative Christian culture is afraid of. (Here's an example: the obnoxious bumper sticker I saw today that shouted, "Jesus is Alive! Deal with it." Um, is that supposed to be a presentation of the gospel?)

It's difficult, trying to live up to labels. But I'm finding that when I step away from labels I can say some things about my relationship with God that I mean will all my heart. And that is huge. I don't need to be certain of everything, but I need a foundation.

So I'm trying something new, putting this stuff out there. I want to keep track of the bread crumbs just like I keep track of the way my kids are growing; the birthdays, milestones, anniversaries. This is kind of my pile of stones, marking an important place. An altar of sorts.

I hope for better things.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

funny stuff about Nicky

  • On Wednesday morning Nicky woke me up at 6:20, already dressed, to let me know that he was making himself a "ham and no cheese sandwich" for his lunch, and Penny had jumped up and taken it off the kitchen counter, so he put her in time out, and he was on his way to start again. Also, he was wearing his backpack.
  • He told Ricky today that he loves Mommy 100 and he loves Papa 30. So I win by 70%. Ouch for Papa. (I only gloat because I know my coolness will not last).
  • He took his red cowboy hat to school today, because he wants to be a "kindergartener cowboy" like his new friend
  • He is currently wearing two plastic rings. One is orange and glows in the dark, the other has a red heart on it.
  • He likes to bring us snacks, like the other day when Ricky and I were sitting outside talking, and he saw us through the back door and then showed up a minute later with three Capri Suns and a big smile. 
  • He has four requests for his birthday: a Buzz Lightyear, a Spiderman mask, a Spiderman costume, and a Buzz Lightyear with a rocket ship.
  • Since he can't whistle yet, he calls Penny with a high-pitched squealy sort of noise. It's awesome.
  • He says "funder" and "light-ming"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

This weekend we took Nicky on his first-ever camping trip with our church. The Gila Wilderness is close to where I grew up, and I have lots of great memories there. I really miss the mountains sometimes, and the high desert. We left inspired to do it more often.

We hiked at the Catwalk

Lots of people were swimming, but we just cooled our toes in the freezing water. 

Later, we enjoyed some campfire time with the group, complete with s'mores of course. 

Silas discovered graham crackers.

The next day we found a shady spot on the Gila River so Nicky could fish. He got pretty good at casting after some practice. I don't think there were any fish in the river, but we didn't tell him that.

We felt like being out and about some more, so we took the scenic route home from Silver City. We stopped by Santa Rita mine so Nicky could have a look at the pit, and the trucks making their way down. 

Then we drove home through the winding roads of the Black Range, stopping to scope out potential future campsites along the way. It was cloudy and cool. That road always made me carsick as a kid, but no one got woozy this time, thankfully.
We finished off the day with green chile cheeseburgers, fries, and a hot shower. 

It's always nice to visit my neck of the woods.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Sometimes I'm simply amazed by the beauty of being this little guy's mama-the way time stops for just a bit while we snuggle up on the couch, and he lays his cheek against my face

and I try to capture the moment with my phone,

and it's a blurry, incomplete representation 

of the pure magic, of the little things that are everything

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