Sunday, September 26, 2010

from small things...

   The 3 boys and I are visiting Quadra Island, visiting my family. We went to the Fire Hall's 50th anniversary and there was an adventure awaiting, we were excited to go to learn about fire safety for a Cub Scout badge and to get a pancake breakfast and...
   All you can eat cotton candy! Which the boys were super, super excited about as they informed me they had never had their very own cotton candy as I always make them share and they couldn't even remember what it tasted like. Does that make me a good parent or a bad one? According to them this was a very important step in their childhood- getting their own cotton candy.
   Breakfast was great, the boys got to eat pan "cake", blow the air horn in the firetruck, see the lights flashing, try on firemen suits, play with helium balloons, learn about big tools, see big trucks, sit in big trucks, meet real live Firemen and explore the Fire Hall, all with no lineups or waiting, the blessings of a small Island compared with a City.
   Then their was the unintentional fire safety demonstration that I hope will have a lasting effect on the boys.
  The lesson was how to use a fire extinguisher which turned into why not to pour diesel into a burning fire, even if the flame is very, very small. Because even a very, very small flame can move very, very quickly 3 feet to the pouring can, into the can, explode the can, blast through the air with a very, very loud bang and the man who was holding the can now has very, very hot fire on his head which in the split second of realization quadrupled in size! Man was saved, hair was not, well half of it. The boys were disappointed they never got a turn using the fire extinguishers. Lets hope that that disappointment can continue on through their lives.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I will be Me.

   I never cease to be amazed at the many different people in this world and their outlook on life and the world around them, sometimes I see someone and I can't believe how good they are at life then others who are good at life in a way I never even considered.
  Take this example for example:
    The other day at the Zoo two women came walking across my path. One lady was wearing her long blond waist length hair in a gold headband around the top of her head, blue jeans and a loose grey shirt. The other lady in some short ripped bluejean shorts and beady lacy top also with long blond hair and both wearing big huge-mongous dark sunglasses.
   I just couldn't pass up this opportunity to see what 10 minutes in their shoes was like, by observation of course, they were walking along looking stylish and pushing toddlers in baby strollers, we were going to see the elephants anyways and who says children get to have all the fun at the Zoo. So I followed them up the trail. I'm pretty sure I was invisible to them so I didn't worry to much about trying to look like a fly on the wall, I think my 3 boys, baggy coat and makupless face did the trick.
   Their first stop was the elephant pen and so we also stopped to observe. (the elephants of course)! Beady's daughter is dressed like Brittany Spears, probably 4 years old and sucking on a soother.
Beady's daughter: "The elephant poops on the ground."
Beady: "Yes honey he poops on the ground because he is too big for the potty," (no wonder the girl still sucks on a soother, I would also be terrified of growing too big to fit my potty) "they don't make potties big enough for him" (so he would use one if he could?)
   Beady decides they have seen enough of the elephants and the conversation so on they walk to the tiger pen to see the baby tiger cubs.
   Headband's son gets taken out of the stroller wearing small rocker clothes (the only thing he is missing is the dark eyeliner) he is probably 3 but maybe Headband has gotten his voice box removed as he is silent and stares around like it is maybe the 2nd time in his life he has been out of his stroller in public.
   Headband wants to take a picture so she gets out her sleek little blue camera from her stroller but panic and panic her phone looks like the peacock thought it was his potty which is now all over her finger,  panic her nicely manicured finger and panic soaking into her skin and panic where oh where are the baby wipes and the sanitizer and the panic oh panic. I don't think she got to take a photo of her son's second time ever out of the stroller but she did get her finger reclaimed and her son safely back in his stroller because he must have gotten that mess in there as she kept asking him where the mess had come from but he didn't, wouldn't or couldn't answer.
   I continued on at this point as I figured I had stared enough and the boys were ready to move on from the sleeping tiger cubs. This was easily one of my more educational visits to the Zoo. Thanks life for making and letting me be me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Hate Purses!

I was going to go visit my family in Canada, I was going to go there on Sunday, I was going to make the 3 hour drive to the border with my husband and 3 little boys, I was then going to get dropped off at the ferry and picked up on the other side by my father and finish the 8 hour total trip to the Island with him.
    I was going to do this well planned vacation on Sunday yet on Sunday I was sleeping in my own bed in Seattle with the alarm clock set for 5 am why is this you ask? To make my husband a 6 course breakfast before 7am? No, it is all because of a purse. I usually love purses, well more along the lines of bags and backpacks but there are some cool purses out there too, if I was to have a "shoe type" girly impulse downfall at the mall it would be for a purse. But right now I hate purses and this is why, I packed my green purse for the trip with diapers, snacks, wallet, books, toys, ID, blanket, etc. etc. It would not close so I went and grabbed my much bigger brown purse and repacked that with all the stuff and more. We loaded up the car I grabbed my purse and we set out. After 2 hours we stopped in Bellingham for some lunch as we were ahead of schedule, Nate had a heart attack moment when he said, " I forgot my passport" to which I calmly responded I had packed it with the birth certificates, which I had, in my green purse, in a zipper pocket, where they fit perfectly, and I had double checked just that morning. When we got back in the car to head for the boarder I went to get all our ID together in a nice little bundle and where was my green purse with it's nice little zipper pocket for the passport and the birth certificates? Well, it was at home 2 hours away, in the closet. Where was I? In Bellingham with my brown purse, which holds way to many diapers!
  Oh how I hate purses. So we turned around and drove back home, kind of a long drive just to get a burrito and fill up the gas tank.
   At the moment of realization you feel a bit sick, then unbelief as in checking every singe pocket in case you put it somewhere that you never would and just don't remember, which would mean one was loosing her mind, but the hope for this is still there. Then I hope in a way that the ferry will sink, then you are not forgetful you are inspired, but this idea is quickly dismissed in sympathy for all the people on board, if anyone is wondering this proves I have sympathy, then I think maybe I forgot something even more important but all the boys are in the back seat so that is not it, at the very least I better sit beside someone on the Seattle to Victoria Clipper tomorrow that needs to meet me, though how much talking am I going to do with 3 little boys at my own 4 person table? Turns out in the end the only thing I forgot was my camera which I hadn't really forgotten but I decided to bring it to at least bring something else so my blog is what really benefited from the Sunday ordeal. Which isn't really fair as it is not even a thing, it's more of an idea.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Diet Sprite

   My sister and I have a bit of an inside insight. We call it diet Sprite and you know, sometimes as a child you need some diet Sprite and many times as a teenager you have more diet Sprite than you want and then you become married and you don't want any diet Sprite anymore, at least for a while. Then a Baby comes along and man oh man you need diet Sprite like you have never needed anything before, yet it is a conflicting emotion because you think maybe your baby should satisfy all your need for diet Sprite but your baby does no such thing, your baby makes you crazy for diet Sprite right when diet Sprite appears to be removed from off the face of the earth, at least from your point of view.
   Diet Sprite (from the movie Date Night) is "Me" time, "My" and only "Me, My" time. It is dropping everything just to do nothing like sit alone in silence and drink diet Sprite. With no one there, and no telephone so if someone did need to call you because they had a bleeding nose or they are hungry again, right now, five minutes after lunch. They would just have to call someone else until you finish your diet Sprite.
   And even though diet Sprite claims to have no nutritional value as it is basically nothing it does just what the label claims, a real life sugar rush to tackle that huge stack of dishes in the sink, the high chair covered in bananas and oatmeal the lego encrusted staircase, the laundry that never ends, the dinners and dinners and dinners to cook for the rest of your life, all these things get put in their proper place and time with a little bit of diet Sprite.
   As a mother of 3 adorable lego playing, banana eating, shower loathing boys I take my diet Sprite in any form - I don't care if it is a sip, a mug or a paper cup that is leaking out of the bottom.
   I found a heavenly pool of diet Sprite in Wyoming. It was an hour drive on a bumpy gravel road to a little old cement pool painted light pink under the rocks and trees with a lovely hotspring of diet Sprite pouring into it at 101.5 degrees.
Even though I was not the only one there I felt like I was. Some places just feel holy and this was one of them, like when you are on top of a mountain, or in a forest that feels like no one has ever set foot in, or when you sit and drink your diet sprite, which means it is more of a mind set which mind set is so rare for me that when it finds me I drink it in. (pun intended)

The boys enjoyed it immensely too in a bit of a different way as they like to drink diet Sprite for the pure joy of burping afterward.
And of course I could never have any diet Sprite in my life if it wasn't for awesomeness defined right here.
 I just might owe you a six pack of diet Sprite after this restful week in Wyoming. Though if you've seen the movie...I'm not going to even go there.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

To the tune of "Down on Grandpa's Farm"

We're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Wy-o-ming
We're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Wy-o-ming
When we're in Spokane we will go skateboarding!
When we are in Spokane we will go skateboarding!
The skateboards they make a sound like this, "whoosh, whoosh".
The cars above us they make a sound like this, "zoom, zoom".

Oh, we're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Wy-o-ming
We're on our way we're on our way, on our way to Wy-o-ming
When we are in Butte we will do everything but sleep in bed
 When we are in Butte we will do anything but sleep in bed
 Memories of skateboards keep running through our heads
 We can't wait to eat all the cereal when we jump up from our beds
Oh. We're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Wy-o-ming
 We're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Wy-o-ming
When we're in Idaho Falls we are almost there. YAY!
  When we're in Idaho Falls we are almost there. YAY!
 Daddy finds an awesome taco stand, truck, place
 He then proceeds to stuff them in his face*
 Oh. We're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Wy-o-ming
We're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Wy-o-ming
OH. We're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Wy-o-ming
We're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Wyoming.
Yay! We made it!

(*Sorry Nate but it rhymes)

Friday, September 10, 2010

1$ Hot Dog Anyone?

   Wyoming. 14 hour drive. 3 little boys. 1 car. 1 large box of snacks. 5 suitcases. 1 very large bag of motorcycle gear. 6 helmets for skateboarding and motorcycling. 28 pairs of underwear (which is never enough). 2 many diapers to count. Very full trunck which after repacking after the hotel had plenty of room to spare making me think we forgot something major that I have not missed yet, possibly Nate's 5 pairs of shoes.
   Before we left along with the pile of laundry that was threatening to swallow my bed I had to tackle the car. I have offered my 2 boys the only money job available which is to clean the car. 1 dollar a week each, one boy vacuums, one boy wipes down the inside. They did it once and of course it was a huge job because it had not been done for months, (I honestly can't remember it could have never before been done) as it is the one job that hovers between my responsibility and Nates, the up in the air job that I refuse to add to my ever growing list. So it gets made into a money job, I thought it was a stroke of genious as the boys are always requesting money jobs. Nate said I don't pay well enough and that is why the boys are not interested. I am just happy to be able to have something to throw back at them when they want money to buy more lego..."you know you could have made 10 dollars by now", to which Ethan replies, "well 9 really because of tithing". Maybe he would clean the car for 1.10 per week.
   So I get up at 6am the day we are to leave and think that maybe Nate is right the job may be worth more. The worst thing I found was half of a 2 week old hot dog thankfully still in its foil wrapper left in the seat compartment. I contemplated taking a picture of it but couldn't bring myself to open the wrapper, little sister-you know who you are, I am sorry for ever asking you to take out the garbage because I think I now understand your revulsion, I don't think there was anything anyone could have offered me to make me open up that hot dog wrapper- though it was a hot dog so it probably looked, smelled and tasted exactly the same as when I bought it.
I made it through the pile of laundry and came out on the other side with 4 packed bags and a cleared bedroom floor.
On the Road to Wyoming Pictures forthcoming:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ode to Summer my only favorite arabian mare

  I saddled up yesterday and took an old white arabian mare for a beautiful ride up the mountain with my father and mother in law to enjoy the view and the stillness and the world from where I stood at the moment.
   I could not help but be reminded of my very, very first western ride more than ten years ago up a trail in Utah. Now I had spent years and years at an english equestrian barn learning all about how to take care of hunter jumper horses and the time spent grooming, exercising, wrapping, cold hosing, to finally get to ride yet here I was throwing an old white arabian mare tacked up in an old dusty saddle into the big stock trailer with my father in law's horse and off we drive up to a sandy dirt road to unload the horses and ride up the mountain. Now to many this would seem normal but to me it was anything but. I was used to riding in a flat riding ring where a 10 percent grade meant that someone needed to bring out the tractor and drag the ring. Yet here we were heading up this sand bank on switch backs that were about 170 degrees, I remember well my father in laws only warning, if the horse is going down jump off to the UP hill side. I was pretty sure this was going to happen to me as we marched up and up and my old mare started puffing like a dragon and her sides were heaving in and out so there was more motion there than forward, she was dripping in sweat and foaming and I was sure, sure, sure that if I let her stop for one second she would either never start again or die right on the spot and I would have to jump off UP hill. Looking down off of basicly a cliff on which one is riding, feeling like you are on stilts that could at any moment colapse is not a beautiful and calming sight, yet for some reason my father in law kept showing me the view and pointing out places somewhere down somewhere in some canyon that I was more than sure I would see face to face rolling down a blur of white and leather and me. Of course we made it to the top I was genuinly surprised my horse made it there I was sure it was going to die. I made sure to get off right when it stoped just in case it could not stand without it's forward momentum. I loosened it's girth and let it walk and rest and eat.
   Then for the way down, if I thought going up was crazy- down was a real life wild mouse ride, this is what it feels like heading down, first your saddle slides as far forward as possible till you are sure you are riding on your horses neck then at the switch backs as you are facing and looking down-down-down this looooong way down your horse's nose, head, neck shoulders are heading straight down the mountain and your old white mare has this far away look in her eye and after the ordeal getting up I can totaly relate if she is just going to step right over the trail and throw herself headlong down into the rocks and spiky trees making a giant avalance in her wake yet when I am sure she will go over this time, just like the wild mouse ride at the fair no mater how many times I ride it I am sure that this time it will go to far and fall it always turns and so does my mare, she always turns and never stumbles and continues on like it is a walk in the park which I suppose to her it was, in a way, as she has probably never had a walk in the park. When we get down we stick the panting horses back in the trailer, drive home, untack, and stick them out in the field. That is it, no cold hosing, wrapping, brushing, tack cleaning, stall mucking. I was pretty sure that the next morning the horse I rode would not be able to move or be dead but there she was walking around, eating alfalfa and as happy as a horse could be.
   I have gone on quite a few more rides since this one and each more enjoyable than the next as I learn to enjoy the view, to ride in a different way and though less thrilling it is breathtaking in it's own beautiful way.

Circumference of a Thought on Becoming a Daughter

   This past week I have become a daughter once again. Becoming a daughter is a soul searching endeavor and never happens calmly, when one becomes a daughter one is thrown from where one stands to where one will stand forever more in relation to your own Mother. I know without a doubt in my mind that my Mother is the Best-Mother-Ever-In-The-Whole-World and I say this with not a hint of sarcasm. I love, respect, adore and strive to be more like my Mother. Yet I am me and my own life steers me in a different way than her life did, and this is life, and it is good, though sometimes I wish I just had her blueprint so I could just copy what she did and not have to make or think about hard decisions of my own.
   I became a daughter this last week once again, my Mother had to go to the hospital and I, living 8 hours away, could not go visit or help her but she called wanting me to be there with her to help her and give her strength. This is a way of being a daughter I never thought about. My Mother is strength defined. But here in this moment she wanted me to be the strength, it made me sad to not be able to be there for her, I could be there on the phone but that is worlds away when you want someone there. When I was in labor with my third my Mother could not come because my Sisters baby was due at the same time and we both agreed that my mom needed to be there for her first, but that did not help me from feeling so alone  A Mother is something all daughters need when they are in labor. So I could relate in a way to her need for me to be there there yet knowing that I could not be there and by the time I would have gotten there the real need would have passed and she would be home.
   It made me think of Becoming a daughter in this way, of caring for your mother as time passes and in a sense you become Mother to your Mother who will always be your Mother. It makes me feel old but in a good way, a way that says in no words that she could that as my blueprint and hers cross and unfold we sketch in new lines, throw away old models and yet we see the beauty in each others lives and love and appreciate one anothers choices. So at times I need my Mother and at times she will need me.