Monday, May 28, 2012

Hamster and Cat, By Niamh

 I love her

Memorial Day-A Last Reminder That Your Days With Kids In School Are Over In About A Month

Its a good thing Memorial Day pops up right before the end of the school year. I'm going to need this month to change my behavior, alter my daily routine, try to add more fun to my day.
Usually, at the end of the weekend, the kids return to school and I get to go about my busy day in my pajamas, drinking my pot of coffee at my leisure. 
 Today, I mentally refused to get out of my jams until I drank my two cups of coffee. With Niamh and Finn constantly asking for food, making messes as I was cleaning up messes, begging to go to the park, refusing to clean their rooms, always under my feet, it took me until noon to drink the last of my second cup. After hair and makeup, I was ready to roll around 2:00!
We had the rest of the afternoon to get out for a bike ride to Greenlake and then to the dirt jumps at Lower Woodland Park.
We took off in single file form through Wallingford and down to the lake.
I have to say that taking up the rear to watch that the kids are paying attention and following Steve in the lead was one of the most frightening things I have experienced since probably the last time we set out in single file for a bike ride.
Finn is constantly trying to do tricks. He pedals hard as we ride DOWN hills. He doesn't ever look for cars as he speeds through intersections. He doesn't slow to brake, he SKIDS to brake. And his front wheel always seems like it is wobbling out of control. 
Once we were on the trail around Greenlake, I was able to relax my grip on my bike, drop my shoulders, and stop yelling at him to stay in control.

After the playground, we rode to the dirt jumps at Woodland Park. There, watching Finn, my shoulders returned to their position parallel with my ears. The only hope I have to kill Finn's dream of jumping one of the big hills is that he is a total weenie when he gets hurt. I think just a couple of good spills on the small hills, enough to make him bleed but not break a bone, and he will again focus his talents on soccer. At age 6, soccer is pretty safe. The kids rarely make good contact with the ball.

Dear Niamh

Dear Niamh,
When you come in the kitchen right before dinner and ask me if you can have a snack, and I say No, and you say Oh, OK all too cooperatively, and then say I'll be right back, and then go in your room and come out 45 seconds later with your mouth closed tightly and a look on your face that says Please, Mama, don't ask me to speak right now, or fist tightly closed so that you have to open the back door with a hook hand, I'm on to you. I know you just went in to your room and sneaked some candy from the stash you hide under your pillow, or in the pillow case from Halloween. I know this because I'm your mom. I know what you look like when you are lying and when you are guilty. I don't call you out on it because I'm too tired for the fight and for now, arguing over a snack size twix isn't worth it. You may think you get away with it each time, but I'm on to you, Friend. Don't think you can get away with this in High School.
When I was a Sophomore in High School, and I went to Mexico for the summer to build latrines and teach the good people of Sta. Maria Jaltianguis the Fly Cycle, I got a postcard from my mom, your grandma Nu Nu, that read Dear Fiona, I know that Greg is in your closet right now and you are supposed to be studying for finals.......she had written the postcard a month before I left for my volunteer trip. It terrified me. I just want you to know, Niamh, the terrifying part WILL come.


Is it cool to wear your Tortilla T to a Mexican Restaurant?

How about wearing your Artichoke T when we are steaming Artichokes on the 2.5 burner Tappan Stove? Huh? Is that coolio?

Some kids just know how to do cool.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Please, Help A Child In Need

        2009                                                                   Tonight

Do you think that UNICEF donates jammies? We need some.

(The Outtakes. Finn can't resist sabotaging his sister's photos.)

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Ever wonder if you're being targeted or profiled?
I do.
For example, I wonder if this flyer went home in the backpacks of all the students, or just in those who's parents seem to need this seminar the most.

More and More Independent

 When we were at the bus stop I was thinking about how my gang are getting more and more independent. 

Niamh does her own hair now (and does a damn good job).

Finn chooses his own clothes, including socks. 
(I hope its obvious to other adults that Finn is making his own clothing choices.)

Steve could still use some guidance with things like emptying the dishwasher of only the clean dishes, but there's still time to work on that...we have the whole rest of our lives together (yay!).

Monday, May 14, 2012

My 8th Mother's Day

This Mother's Day, it became clear to me what is most important about the day.

Mother's Day is not about an elaborate breakfast in bed.
Mother's Day is not about spending the day pampered at a salon.
Mother's Day is not about being showered with gifts like a new pair of boyfriend jeans or a cute pair of  summer wedges.
Mother's Day is not about taking the day off from home improvement projects like scraping, sanding, and priming the back porch. 
Mother's Day is not about spending 10 days in the Dominican Republic alone, recuperating from the last 8 years of Motherhood.

Steve is really lucky that I know that Mother's Day is not about any of that stuff and that I don't base Father's Day on how Mother's Day was spent.

Mother's Day IS about knowing that your kids adore you. They cherish you. They have a checklist of what your breakfast in bed should include so that they don't forget one of the three items. They want to play their hardest at their soccer games for you. They want to make you the best beaded necklace and woven belt you have ever worn. They want you to know that you paint porches really well. And they create cards, soap dishes, and melted chocolate in cupcake liners with gusto for the mom they love.

I just noticed that "secret" was crossed off the list. I'll have to ask Finn about that.

I'll let you all know when stock in The Niamh Company goes public.

Niamh told me I looked like a fashion model. Steve told me that when he was a kid, living on a sheep farm, his mom used to do needlepoint that looked like the design on my shirt

I've never known a better way to say "I love and appreciate everything you do for us" than dinner at Behinana.
Happy Day to Me.
Thanks, Guys. I love you too.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Used To Be Cool

Tonight, as I was giving Niamh a kiss goodnight, she said to me Mama, I have just one question for you before I go to sleep. Its about the ostrich you rode in the race.....

My carefree days riding in ostrich races in South Africa are long gone .
Those overalls lasted me through both pregnancies though.


Ever see or hear something that makes you smile while at the same time you have tears running down your cheeks?
This should do it.

I get to work with some amazing people...staff and patients.
Thank you, Chris Rumble, for making this video. We all need a little perspective to slap us across the face every now and then.