Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break

Ten to fifteen years ago, if you said spring break, it would conjure up images of iced drinks, tanning on the beach all day in a bikini and partying till the wee hours at night. To quote Max from Where the Wild Things Are, “Let the wild rumpus begin.”

It may be apparent by my choice of whom to quote, but things are a little different these days.

Our spring break is going to be marked this year by spring-cleaning projects. Sounds thrilling, no? It has to be done. Our house needs the weeding out. We have now lived here for four years (longest we’ve every lived anywhere!) and it is apparent by the amount of stuff we’ve accumulated.

The closets are bursting at the seams. What can I say? These children keep growing and needing new clothes every season. So, I am behind on my runs to drop off the outgrown to the local charity, boxing up those worth keeping for memories sake and passing on a few items to my niece. The clothing situation-quite a pain in the you know what.

The basement needs to be organized again. Our crafts area is out of control. My husband jokes that instead of Joanne’s or Michael’s, we have Laura’s. I really shouldn’t have to purchase anything until we use up everything we have. It’s a good philosophy that I think I’ll run with. And we so happen to have to turn those First Communion banners in at the end of this week. Yet another way I’ll be spending spring break. Gluing felt and beads onto a religious banner. My twenty something self could never have predicted that one.

The refrigerators have gotten cleaned out. Scrubbed from top to bottom. My china cabinet will be completely emptied and each piece washed and dusted. My mother terms this cleaning the breakfront. I have despised it since I was a child. But, now that I have my own, I realize that it gets dusty in there. Uggh. So, that will be conquered one afternoon.

A more pleasant spring task will be filling my flowerpots with some pansies and forsythia branches. What can I say? Flowers make me happy! They truly do symbolize the first signs of spring and the winter that we need the break from. So, we’ll end the to do list on a positive note. One of my favorite things is to take the kids to the garden center. They love it and so do I. Bring on the spring.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Fresh Perspective

So, it's official.

I have lost control of my iPhone to my three year old.

This girl has moves that you would not believe. She can pick pocket it from me and, I swear, I don't even feel it happening. I hope this is not indicative of a future career that will involve me posting bail.

I will admit, I give it up freely at doctor's offices, basketball, soccer and baseball games, school functions, checkout lines at stores. What can I say? The videos and all of those learning apps really come in handy for a mom in the year 2010.

My last iPhone was broken and I replaced it with this version a few months ago. While in the store, I had to have a discussion with our salesman about which case could provide maximum protection-just in case the device was dropped a time or two. He sold me a rubber like cover that actually has two shock absorbing bands that is proven to absorb the impact when dropped. He must have seen me coming. It cost more, but has been worth every bouncing penny. But, that's what I get for giving my phone to my three year old.

As we walk through stores, people will comment on the fact that R is whooshing her finger and tapping away on the glass front like a pro. She can find whatever you need on the phone. Set up a movie, play an app, take pictures, play music. You name it-there's an R for that. My husband, a huge apple fan, takes this as a testament to how simple these devices are to operate. As her mother, I of course, take it for the fact that she is a three year old genius. But, that's just me.

So, because of her love of the iPhone, he are some shots from R. This is what she does when she's in charge of the phone and bored in stores or on errands. This is her perspective. It's interesting for me to get an inside view from there.

Furniture shopping with my parents, B and A.

Eggs at the grocery store.

Shopping at Target.

From her perspective atop the bleachers during a soccer game.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Fever

Short sleeves. Zip up sweatshirts. Playing outside. Bike rides. Sunshine. The sunroof is open in the car. The tulips and the daffodils are two inches out of the soil.

It’s official; we have spring fever around here.

The past few days in the Chicago area have been full of blue skies, sunshine and 60 degrees. After close to four months of nothing but gray, freezing cold and snow, we couldn’t be happier.

The children are naive enough to think that this is it. Spring has officially arrived.


This is Chicago after all. That is why the weatherman has predicted snow and sleet for Sunday and Monday. But, I can’t bear to tell them what March is really all about. That lion and lamb nonsense. That they haven’t seen the last of the yuck yet. It’s still out there, on the horizon.

Just in time for outdoor soccer to begin. They’ll slosh through torrential rains. They’ll be covered in wet, goopy mud. At the same time, it’ll be freezing cold.

However, the air will smell different. Perhaps, it’s the trees blooming or the grass coming in. The rain will make everything green. It will wash away the drudgery of winter and usher in the true spring for which we are all longing.

What will this breath of fresh air carry with it?

The change that is eminent.

An end to the itch of winter.

The beginning of something.

I hope so. This fever is hot. Send in the rain of renewal.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Little Snippets 4

B: Hey A, did you know that Papa was in Vietnam?!?

A: (wearing Nikes) B, did you know my shoes are made in Vietnam?!?

R in the tub taking her bath.

R: Mommy, will you marry me?

Me: Well, I’m already married to Daddy.

R: But I wuv you sooo much! I wuv you and Daddy!

Me: We love you too.

R: Then can I marry both you and Daddy?

Me: Don’t you want to marry a boy you fall in love with?

R: (thinking for a while) No. I want to marry you and Daddy.

Me: Alright then, I’ll check back with you on that in a few years.

A: Mom are we going tonight to the Orthodontist?

Me: We are not going to the orthodontist. That is the doctor that puts braces on your teeth. We are going to the dermatologist to check on your rash. He is a skin doctor.

A: So we’re going to the dermathodontist tonight then?

Me: What did you call him?

A: The orthotologist?

Me: The dermatologist.

A: Yeah, that’s what I said.

Me: Not even close…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010




It seems that lately, as I sit down to compose a blog post, my mind goes blank. I stare at my screen. I try to force my thoughts into something coherent-to string together a few words.

For the first time in a long time, it's difficult.

Things are jumbled. I stare at my screen and think only of the list of to dos. It's quite a long list these days. When things get busy in life, I have trouble focusing. Getting out of the mode of that thinking and taking time for myself to be productive in other ways.

I started this post at 5:00 am. My eyes were so tired, I couldn't focus on the screen for a good five minutes. Perhaps that's the problem. Am I giving myself the best opportunity to be successful at this? Or, is it just getting crammed on the to do list like everything else? The problem is, this is about the only thing on that huge list that is mine alone.

I don't want it to be like that. I walk around all day composing blog posts in my head. The children will do something funny. I'll have a little insight somewhere between soccer and the grocery store. But, life with three children happens and that thought gets lost along the way. I should fix the process. I know that. I should make the time for something that is important to me. I know that also.

I am aware of the changes and the focus shift that needs to be made. However, I am in a rut. I need someone to throw me a rope or lend me a hand to pull me out.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday

Crazy morning today. Aren't they all? So, here's a photo from our vacation. This was last Monday. I'm sitting here daydreaming of that blue water and having my husband and children to myself...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Comfort Zone

Travel can bring forth so much emotion. It can fill you with excitement at the possibility of what lies ahead or dread at the unknown. At various times of my life and for various trips, I've fallen into each camp.

When I was 21, T and I went to Europe for the first time. It was thrilling. New cultures, new countries, new languages. Everything was unknown and I loved it. At the time, I was finishing up college and he was already working. So, we went together for 2 weeks and then he had to return to work. I stayed on for 2 more weeks by myself. I didn't mind roaming alone or the seven hour flight by myself home. I was elated at the sense of how much of the world there was to discover.

However, a mere 6 years later, it was a completely different story. T and I were to fly to New York City to check things out for our upcoming move. The flights were booked. The hotel was reserved. This was going to be our first trip alone since we had B and A. It was a tumultuous time in our lives. T was wrapping up graduate school. He was in process of changing careers and things were uncertain as to where we would be living. He was originally hired for the Chicago office, but things changed and we had to go to New York instead. The babies were just a year and we sold our house in four days. I was stressed and facing uncertainty. So, the night before the trip, I had a panic attack and was unable to make myself go. We ended up driving out east with our two babies a few weeks later. Not very rational. Not of sound mind at the time. My sense of adventure was all but quashed. I longed for stability.

Bike riding down the Blue Mountain and through the rain forest in Jamaica was thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. Snorkeling out in the Molokini Crater in Hawaii was breathtaking in it's beauty. Frightening was the mode of transportation that my husband chose for us to get out there. Picture a large inflatable tube boat with a super fast motor. We rode out to the crater straddling the inflated tube, holding onto a strap to keep us on at speeds of 40 mi/hour. We did stop to see that whale a mere 20 feet away. Two emotions-fear and exhilaration all at the same time.

Perhaps, that's what travel does for us. It takes us out of our comfort zones and shows us something new. Something we weren't aware of before that trip. It opens up the world. It introduces us to people and places we didn't even know we would fall in love with. It shows us that if we can get over our fears of the unknown, we may discover something that we were meant to experience. Something that will change who we are and what we can do. Our travels. Our experiences. They make up who we are once we return home.