Saturday, February 11, 2012

Life Moving Forward

It's been over six months since I've posted. I suppose in the blogosphere, fortymama is toast. But I've been feeling like picking it up again, so here I am. It's completely overwhelming to consider recounting everything  since July, and that also seems really boring, but allow me one look back.

I can't move forward without a nod to my sweet, sweet Palo. My first baby.  I love this picture. It intimately shows the tenderness and trust he was capable of. Traits that German Shepherds are known for with their families. But he wasn't perfect by any means. He was unpredictable around other dogs, and sometimes he scared people (although at times that came in handy). But he came through on the most important task of all: being trustworthy with our children. He survived twin toddlers without ever snapping, always just slowly rising on those aching joints and walking away when he was fed up with yet another pink sunhat.

This sensitive dog named after Pablo Neruda left this world on December 3rd. It's still hard to believe, he's been in my life for so long. His ashes are still at the vet. Yes, I've been procrastinating picking them up. But it's time. Time to hold them, honor him, then let them fly into the sea air.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hurray, it's Summer! Or is it?

Yep, just another Northwest July day.

So...what's been happening this summer? Let's take a look, shall we?

In June, I went to Alaska on a ten day sales trip. (Which, is a very long time to be away from your children!)

I visited customers....

 caught up with friends....

and saw beautiful scenery: this is outside of Palmer, just off the Parks Hwy.

We enjoyed the local wildlife: this Northern Hoarder was spotted in Fairbanks.

Then, our granddaughters arrived from New Mexico. It was wonderful to have them here.

 We enjoyed fun, summer beach days (noticed how we're bundled up?)

 Our annual Olympic Game Farm trip.
 The kids had a blast together.

Then it was off to Spokane with their cousins to see my parents.
This is Ana's favorite pose these days.

My brother & sister with my nephew & Ana on the Tilt-a-Whirl. I was impressed that my Dad took Jack, (it makes me totally queasy these days), but after the ride he was heard to say, "I don't need to do that ever again."

Spokane's Riverfront Park was our amusement rides, no nap, max out on sugar, late afternoon meltdown day. Actually, it was alot of fun!

My parents have property in Spokane and lots of animals and rusted out farm equipment. Apparently, that's what happens when you become a farmer, you have to keep everything for spare parts.

My Dad found his new calling....Cow Whisperer

and Chicken Whisperer....

and the Goose Whisperer.

So what more adventure does the summer have in store? 


Hopefully some sun, since we're going camping soon (are we crazy?)

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    It's Spring! And it's freakin cold!'s Spring!

      But don't get too excited, it's still really cold

    At least we have Easter...

    dyeing eggs...

     stickers on our faces...

     eggs in our hands

     I kind of hate all the junk that PAAS puts in their eggs now: stickers, plastic shrink wrap, glitter (which, in theory is cool, but it makes a total mess), glue. We had one brown egg left so we dunked it in purple (then in orange, and green and purple again...remember, these are 3 year olds). But I love how it turned out.

    This is a my favorite, the absolute anithesis of an Easter egg, but it looks so organic & natural, like a river rock. Boo did it at preschool in black watercolor. Too bad we have to eat it.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Playing with Balloons

    One week ago Friday, we lost our 12 year old yellow lab, Dune. I told the kids that Daddy was taking Dune to heaven. I thought that would be a simple explanation, one that my parents had told me once, but it turned out to be a bit more complicated.

    "Where's heaven?"
    "In the sky, in the clouds"

    "How are they gonna get there?"
    "Ummm... well, he won't really be up there, it's his spirit really.."

    "What's a spirit?"
    "He needs a HELICOPTER!!!" my little boy interjected

    "When is Dune coming back?"
    "Honey, he's not coming back"
    "He can play with Bear's balloon!" 

    About a month ago, Bear had a helium balloon that we all watched float away, which inspired many discussions. Where was it? Would a bird bring it back? So now Dune gets to play with it. OK, pass the Kleenex!

    "Are you a little sad Mommy?
    Then my daughter gave me a big hug and said "Do you feel better now?"

    I realized later that I never mentioned the "D" word. I skirted around it. Somehow saying "dead" sounded harsh and final, but the kids would only have the meaning that I put on it. I suppose I was avoiding too many questions of explaining what "dead" really means. A full explanation of it seemed too much, but the next day I said that "Dune died". Boo just repeated it..."he died?" And that was it...for now.

    So now we have just one, nearly deaf dog padding around the house and a cat that is deathly afraid of toddlers.  I always wondered who would be left out of the merged-family menagerie we started out with (4 dogs-3 cats), and ironically, the animals that were mine (which seems odd to say now) are the ones still here. Dune will be missed tremendously, just like his sister Boston, and his brother Zeus, but life does go on. The kids make sure of it.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    A New Decade

    Just when you're about to go crazy, they sit up and do something like this.
    (Blue food coloring in the tub, not tidy bowl)

    I have exactly five minutes to write this post before I absolutely, positively MUST begin dinner. Why am I even posting? I've been reading other blogs and I'm feeling inspired and guilty that I've neglected mine so much.

    So far the new year has begun like the last two, with kids coughing and sleepless nights. Not that I'm complaining, we begin this new decade potty trained (!), counting in Spanish and Mom actually completing her to do lists. It's day five and I'm on a roll. Resolutions? I'm considering them, but do they have to start on the first? I've decided they do not. So for now, I'll contemplate Weight Watchers, the pedometer, the art of listening, adding more romance to my life and jazzier clothes to my closet. I'll let you know when I start.

    Friday, December 31, 2010

    Holiday Report

    I'm na hantum prince, I'm Bear!
    TRANSLATION: I'm not a handsome prince, I'm Bear!
    My kids are into playing pretend. Pirates, Princesses, Monstas. When you are a mother, your princess days are over. Now you are relegated to be a monster or frog, or, if you're lucky, the princess's older sister. (Just had to share this)


    Christmas was great. There was no holiday let down that it didn't live up to my fantasies. The kids were into Santa. Santa was into coming. Cookies. Presents were opened at a pleasurable pace. Mess was somewhat contained. We played in our pajamas most of the day. I made killer pulled pork tacos. What more could you want?


    Sunday was hectic preparing for a 16 person party on Monday while having houseguests, but everything turned out fine. Monday's gathering bubbled with hugs, laughter and chatter: kids playing, women cooking, men gathering around iPads. It was a long, satisfying, exhausting day. The next morning, the kids were able to see their cousins ride off into the overcast sky from our local airport. (a.k.a. strip of runway where you walk right up the plane.)

    So now the family is gone, and tonight it's our turn. We've got a babysitter. Need I say more?

    Happy New Year. 

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    An Authentic December

    The kids had their first visit to Santa yesterday. Bear wanted nothing to do with him after thirty seconds, and Boo, having just pulled my carefully placed bow from her hair, decided she could look up from her candy cane long enough to smile.

    In the past fourteen days I've shopped "Black Friday", had three days of birthday celebrations, including a party with eight-3 year olds, multiple cupcakes, a visit from my stepdaughter and her boyfriend, a cheesecake, a five day visit from my best friend, two more birthday cakes and our company's Christmas party. It's been crowded, crazy, filling, fun, decadent, wonderful, yummy, festive...pretty much in that order. And there's no let up, starting next weekend we'll have more family visiting until after Christmas.

    By now I know the scenario.

    The planning: I'm the warm hearted and excited hostess. Ready to welcome all into our house with freshly made beds, flowers & chocolates.

    The reality: The housecleaning, the laundry, overwhelming guilt as your children watch TV so you can accomplish these things. Making beds at 10:00 p.m. the night before, promising that next time I'll have the flowers and chocolates. Hostess facade completely crumbled.

    But after many late night conversations over cozy glasses of Bailey's, and enjoying the kids re-bonding with their long distance family members, I settle into the chaos. It is a skill I am perfecting. It's okay if someone gets cranky. Isn't that what families do? We get cranky, make memorable remarks, and share things that an average houseguest doesn't...our realness. So here's to authentic holiday experiences.