Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Light Bulb Moment

Yesterday, I was still trying to get myself ready when my mom came to the door at 9 am. The boys were dressed and fed, but my hair was still wet. I put the basher down for a nap and Grandma Caryn played outside with the punk while I finished getting ready. Then she stayed with the boys while I went grocery shopping. Who would have thought that grocery shopping by myself would be such a luxury? I returned home and unloaded the groceries from the car, put them away, started the chicken in the crock pot, unloaded the dishwasher, loaded it with the dirty stuff in the sink, and made two fat turkey sandwiches for my mom and me. As we were enjoying our lunch outside with the punk, I told her that I had been trying to hurry through all these morning chores so I could begin my day. As soon as I had that thought, I realized that I had it wrong. These things that I was trying to cross off my list ARE my day. I don't have the luxury of "getting ready" for the day. The minute the basher starts squeaking is the minute my day begins. As soon as I came to this realization, I felt relief. The stress of trying to "get ready" melted away and I was able to take a step back and watch the punk enjoy his drippy popsicle. Because cleaning his face and clothes is just another part of my day. And this day is a good one.

[mmm... melty goodness]

[oops... melty goodness on the ground]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Delicious Pig

While reading But Not The Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton:
"The hog and the frog cavort in the bog."

Me, pointing to the hog: "What is that?"
Punk: "A pig!"
Me: "Right! Another name for a pig is a hog. Can you say hog?"
Punk: "Hot dog!"

Oh punk, if you only knew how right you are.

Monday, June 20, 2011

His Natural Habitat

I found the punk sitting comfortably under this beautiful Japanese maple, enjoying a warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. This natural chamber is perfectly punk-sized. He can sit on the old railroad tie or stand upright under the bowed branches. If he were wearing camo, I wouldn't be able to see him.

It made me think of the "secret" places in which I used to find sanctuary as a child. The woodpile on the north side of my house (where I once punctured my bare foot with a rusty nail). The tunnel-like trail behind Grandpa's cabin; it was the only way to get from the cabin to the "Indian caves" via the alfalfa field, without having to squeeze through a barbed wire fence. Although it was a main thoroughfare, we girls thought it was our secret hideout and were infuriated when we found the boys back there.

In addition to meditating with a sweet treat, the punk enjoys spying on the neighbors...

"Look at that man!"

Being adorable...

And being ferocious.

He discovered these beautiful flowers and picked one, which we put in a vase inside. Later, my man told me they are chives. No wonder they smell funny! Nevertheless, the punk lovingly named his little pet Flower Bell.

I showed the punk our first strawberry! Then I immediately regretted my foolishness when I remembered that he was so excited to see a jalapeno in the adjacent pot that he tore half the plant apart. We'll see how long this little berry lasts under the punk's supervision.

After busying myself inside for a few minutes, I looked out the window to see the punk donning his dad's hat and work gloves.

He is at the age where he has really started to look up to his daddy. Here, he's checking out the sprinklers and puttering around the yard, just like his old man.

He even has his dad's "don't take my picture" expression down!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


When a girl is evaluating her life and trying to sort it all out,
When she is trying to break bad habits and implement good habits,
When she is trying to figure out the reason for the existence of those bad habits in the first place,
When she is attempting to determine if she has the guts to become the person she wants to be,

It's best if she has something like this to look at:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I am thinking about my punk. He is:

He is great at:
kicking a ball
singing songs (his rhythm currently out-performs his intonation)
loving his brother
reciting poetry

Today at the grocery store, I was holding him in my arms while we filled the last space in the cart with fruits and veggies. I gave him a hug and a kiss. He took my face in his warm hands and tried to kiss me on the mouth. I turned my head so he could kiss my cheek, which he thought was hilarious. So of course, he did it again and I turned my head again. We ended up laughing ourselves silly by the bananas with his hands squishing my face.

Tonight as I lay my head down to prepare my body and mind for another exhausting day, I will remember this and be happy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

12of12: June (Sunday)

On the 12th of each month, I take 12 photos to document my day.
Hello June!

[Click on the block of photos to enlarge.]

1. The punk's potty treats. He gets 1 for trying. No real success yet. 2. Marissa joined me outside during Sunday School to take a photo of our church building on the mountain. 3. The button on a chair in the mother's lounge at church. The basher and I spend 20 minutes on that chair every week. At a glance, the fabric is just an old, mute blue, but up close, I like the texture. 4. The punk has not yet learned that running in the hall is not reverent. 5. Sunday afternoon nap! 6. We now have a grassy slope instead of cinderblock stairs, and boulders instead of cinderblock tiers. 7. Please pass the dental floss. 8. While I was doing the dishes, I turned around to find that my man had put the basher's burp cloth (aka turban) on his head and given him a rattle (aka scepter). Is he a sheikh or a pharaoh? 9. While we were walking outside, I opened the patio door into the punk's forehead. Oops! 10. Three pairs of chicken legs. 11. Their epidermis is showing. 12. My man is leavin' on a jet plane... again. Gearing up for another week as a single parent.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Another Decade

A couple years ago, when I was so very young... like, 28 or something... I looked ahead at the big 3-0 and thought, what's the big deal? I didn't understand why anyone had a hard time with this age. It's not old. However, in the weeks approaching my birthday, I did find myself looking forward to June 10th with some emotion. It's the end of my 20s. The beginning of the end of young-looking skin, great metabolism, and perky boobs (although that's more the fault of my two hungry babies). I am now called "Ma'am" instead of "Miss." But you know what? I am looking forward to this decade as a time of confidence, comfort, and family. 30 is my year! Here's how I celebrated this momentous occasion.

Uncle Davey came over for a couple hours in the morning to sit with the boys...

So I could do this...

And this...

And this...

Then my man flew home from his business trip to sit with the boys so I could go out for sushi with my ladies.

When I got home, I spent some quality time with the basher boy...

Then I spent some quality time with myself.

Then with my family.

My friend Amy and her 3 beauties came over with a beautiful little one-person cake and candle, and a handmade card, written by my two piano students. They knew I had already celebrated with a surprise party that my man threw for me last week, so they decided I needed to have something to stick a candle in to make a wish on my actual birthday. I also had visits from my beautiful mother in-law and my lovely cousin/best friend Brooke.

We tried to make the basher laugh. He managed a tiny giggle. (His first laugh was elicited by his grandpa on his 61st birthday, earlier in the week.)

My man and the punk and I enjoyed some $5 pizza for dinner.

After the kids went to bed, I practiced my violin for a few minutes in preparation for a string quartet gig the next day.

Then I took a moment to make a wish and blow out my candle.

30 years old? Bring it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Down To The River To Pray

It seems an appropriate song for the bathtub, wouldn't you say?

{The sucking noise is the basher in my arms, sucking on his fist.}

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Snapshots of a Tuesday Afternoon

Baby Bird Update

Earlier this evening, the boys and I were chillin' on a blanket on the grass in the backyard, very near the tree with the robin's nest. Mr. Robin came by with a long worm folded in his beak, but didn't go directly to his nest. He perched on the fence to scope the place out. Then he flew to the roof. Then to a rock. Then to a branch on another tree. He did this for several minutes, all while observing the funny-looking animals on the BYU blanket to see if we could be trusted. I noticed, however, that the nest was quiet. No peeping, no fuzzy heads with open beaks. And I started to worry that, despite the constant stream of worms being crammed down their throats, perhaps the chicks hadn't survived.

After bathing and putting the punk to bed, I walked outside with the basher (who was up next for mealtime and bedtime) to pick up the blanket I had left on the grass. As I bent down to grab the quilt, I exclaimed, "Oh!" A scraggly, feathery brown tennis ball with a beak was staring at me!

This creature and I studied each other for several seconds. I was surprised how round he was! I guess worms do a body good. When he didn't immediately fly away, I decided to run inside and grab my camera (and stash the basher in his swing for a minute). After taking a few shots and getting closer and closer to this fuzzy thing, I ran inside to interrupt the punk's reverie. Psssh, yeah right. He had sneaked out of bed to play with his toys in his room, like he does every night. Since we had been observing this baby's parents for a few days now, I thought he'd like to say hello to the little birdie.

He said, "Hello Baby Robin!" But Mr. and Mrs. Robin did not appreciate our cordial greeting to their offspring. They angrily chirped and flapped from the nearest tree, so I told the punk that we'd better let the baby calm down and practice flying.

I have to say, I was happy to know that the little fuzzball had parents looking out for him. It must be the mama bear in me. When I looked out the window after putting the basher in bed, the baby bird was gone.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

For The Birds

Ahhh, Sunday afternoon. We survived the 3+ hours at church with two active boys (and a few long-winded speakers). I've eaten a delicious lunch of blistered grape tomatoes, warmed goat cheese, gourmet olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil (right off the potted plant in my kitchen) on a toasted baguette. The boys are taking their naps. I have just settled down with a page-turner in the warm sun when I notice an urgent peeping coming from the scrub oak to my left. There's a mama bird feeing her chicks in a nest! I ran inside for my camera and zoom lens, climbed onto a raised bed near the tree, and waited...

and waited...

and waited...

And then:

I hope you're enjoying your day of rest. Like many parents of young ones, I don't think this mama bird gets one.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Conversation with the Punk

Me (to the punk): "Look at that robin eating that big worm!"
Punk: "I'm gonna eat that worm."
Me: "What do you think a worm tastes like?"
Punk: "It tastes like chicken!"

A few minutes later, I was feeding the basher and explaining to the punk how a mama robin feeds her babies. He told me that when he is a robin, he will feed his babies like that. I asked him what else he will do when he is a robin. Without skipping a beat, he pointed to the TV remotes on the mantel (out of his reach) and said, "I will fly up there and catch those remotes!"

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Love in My Lungs

There are times when, as a mama, I look at my boys and suddenly I can't breathe. My chest tightens, the air leaves me, and I have to consciously open my lungs and take a breath. I guess you could say they take my breath away. Usually this happens during an otherwise unremarkable event, like while playing in the backyard or finger painting at the kitchen table. I look at the little boy in front of me and am overwhelmed by his goodness. His creativity, his innate joy, his potential.

[He is hiding, not seeking. Can you find him?]
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