Thursday, May 31, 2012

Good Day

We had a great day (much better than yesterday!).

Walked the kids to school, had a refreshing chat with a friend as our kids hopped and skipped and bug-inspected their way home.

Planted some flowers while the kids ate Popsicles and made mud pies with the dirt out of the pots.  Ava (3) put her muddy pot brimming with brown floating goodness in a corner and told me "Mom, don't touch my whirlpool!"

Helped at the school's field day, helping Kindergartners first-- they were so cute-- many of the games were designed for older kids, and it was so fun to watch them figure things out.   In an obstacle course race, carrying bright orange buckets under pipes over a wet slip-n-slide, they inched their way along with tentative maneuverings, afraid to get wet.  At the end, they were supposed to dump their pail into a small swimming pool and go to the back of the line.  One little girl actually got in the swimming pool and was rolling around in it, happy as a clam.  Loved being outside enjoying the perfect weather, the energy and excitement of all the kids, and the other moms, too.

Painted faces.  Love doing this-- the kids are so cute and its fun to talk to them one-on-one.  I am terrible at it, but they don't seem to mind too much. 

This little girl (top pictures) LOVES it when I come to the school.  She loves Percy Jackson; she asked for a trident on one cheek and a lightning bolt on the other.  Her friend was cute, too.

This boy and his friends had the giggles.  I love that they are such good buds.  He asked for eyelids on his eyelids and a green mouth with lots of teeth around his mouth.  I have to say, my two kiddos asked for things no other kids asked for.  It makes me laugh-- I love to see their personalities.

This little girl recovered from the possessed Belle I painted on her face and went on to get a little creative with the paints while I was busy painting faces and taking care of baby.  Looks like we replaced Demented Belle with Stumpy Unicorn.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Desert VIP

Went for a drive on a dusty red road through dry sage brush and clay hills with Grandpa yesterday.  Stopped to look at some rocks.  The kids found some fossil shells, shiny obsidian, and a rodent skull.  So windy we came home with sand in our hair and pressed in our ears.   Reminded me how good memories together aren't always of the perfect times, but bonding over imperfect ones, too.  Out of the wind, I let my two little girls sit in my lap in the car while others searched for more rocks.  I'd had the song I'm a VIP in My Family playing over and over in my head since I woke up.  They giggled when I'd say "very important person" and squeeze them.  Excited for this month's goals.

Looking for frogs at Grandpa's.

Friday, May 25, 2012


1. con·trail
noun /ˈkänˌtrāl/ 

A trail of condensed water from an aircraft or rocket at high altitude, seen as a white streak against the sky*
The stroller left
Three tracks
In the dry brown dirt,
Slow contrails
From a micro trip
Through tall yellow grass,
Cattails glittering with dew-glass,
And sun-crowned
Scottish thistles.
The sounds of a diminutive metropolis
Hum around us--
Crickets chirruping contentedly,
Songbirds babbling,
The steady chuck-chuck of a
Pasture sprinkler,
And a horse
Chewing in time.
You point a chubby finger,
Pausing for the word
Your mouth hasn't tasted yet.
I love your round
Orange tiger-striped
And your expression,
Discovering the world.
Content today
To make slow contrails in the dirt
And watch an airplane hurry on her way,
Trailing a silver buttermilk cloud
As she rises over
A hazy mountain
With a faint buzz
And disappears.
Some day
I'll be tracing my finger
Across the sky,
Watching your contrails
As you hurry off to conquer the world.
The little pointing finger
Will be gone,
And I'll remember this bucolic morning,
My little boy's
Tubby figure clad in
Tiger-striped jammas,
Looking at me as if
I were the whole world.
When it's my turn to fly over that
High up on my way to
I'll crane my neck
And strain my eyes,
Not for India's Mahal,
But for a little
Dirt path
In the leaning afternoon grass
And a little boy
Frozen in time.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Worth It

Going to publish a poem, but realized there is a story behind the story.  Will publish tomorrow, here is the story behind the story for today. 

(Inspired in part by this (as quoted by Gordon B. Hinkley here):

"I am always moved by this simple verse of Anne Campbell, written in behalf of her child. Said she:
You are the trip I did not take;
You are the pearls I cannot buy;
You are my blue Italian lake;
You are my piece of foreign sky.

Many of you are mothers...When you grow old and your hair turns white, you will not ask about the fancy clothes you once wore, the cars you drove, or the large house in which you lived. Your burning question will be, “How have my children turned out?” ")

I like to watch
The red-eye winking
In predictable time
From the tips of her wings
As she descends back
Toward earth
From a long journey to another world.
...Another titanic silver albatross
And another,
A silent queue
In a neat line,
Others ascending
One by one,
Then turning
Over the mountains
And out of sight.
Where are you going?
Where have you been?
Tell me your stories
As you
Spin golden threads
In a web
Across the sky;
Threads connecting
London Heathrow,
and Arrivederci.
I want to go there
Some day;
For now,
I want to stay,
Tie shoes,
Kiss boo-boos,
Grow life traveller-adventurers.
Today I'm content
To watch you
Ascend, descend, descend,
Ascend, and dream
Your story.
Where are you going?
Where have you been?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I sat on the dusty white school gym floor and listened to my third grader sing "Zipity Do Dah," with the cutest sideways glancing smile on her face. The baby sat in my lap-- he wanted to get down and crawl around; it was a silent wrestling match. Little girls watching and wiggling in their mis-matched getups...sometimes two in my lap at a time. Even with the fidgets I had this surge of gratitude for my little ones. Its such a busy life with five kids but I'm so thankful for each one of them.

Watched a tiny tiny slug after walking kiddos to bus; normally I don't like slugs, but it was the first one my girls had ever seen. Watched it make a trail of silver on ground, lift a tiny head up as if trying to see something, and retract its antennae when lightly touched. They were both upset when a cute redhead came out with a shiny white cottage cheese bucket and removed it (for turtle feeding); my three year old was crying and wouldn't budge. Even I felt a little traumatized-- surprise-- but I'm glad she cares.

At reading time today three year old asked to look at a scrapbook of her older sister. There is a picture of my graduation, holding a little blond boy and a little blond girl with a neon pink flower, one on each knee (where did the time go?). Three year old said to me-- "Wow, Mom, thats sure a cute witch outfit you have on!"

Yesterday: ate popcorn-lime-flavored on the porch, read a story about a boy who prayed when scared at night (six year old scared a lot lately), and cried together at story and courage of NieNie.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Some highlights of the weekend:

Watching my little lambies actually follow Little Bo Peep over the "bridge," in front of grandparents while my baby said "Oh," "oh," very loudly while clapping with chubby hands. (especially when there were no other sounds, eliciting low audience chuckles)

Enjoying time with our sisters around the dining table in our messy house, learning that setting aside my housework can have good effect even with adults.

Sunday afternoon, tried to rig something out of cardboard to watch the eclipse with my ten year-old. Wasn't working. Our projections were just larger than a pin prick. We tried to "see it"-- but couldn't decide if the lopsided-ness of the projections were just from our lopsided cardboard holes. Ha. Hubby rigged something better out of a big white moving box we could stick our head in, then friends came over with a telescope and projected 6-inch diameter crescent on our deck. Even better, trailed all the kids to a neighbor's with welding goggles; took turns looking through them as moon became surrounded by a ring of fire and the landscape turned eerily gray and our friend's toddler picked their flowers. Slowly trailed home, ate homemade popcorn, kids played "nature reserve" in the weeds, watched the garden grow.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Few Minutes

Note to self: don't try new resolutions in May (the craziest month for moms-- how did I forget?). I absolutely have not done one single thing on my organization and bugdet this whole week.

Highlights of the last two days: walk with the kids to school, time alone with baby on the way home (dad home with girls), listening to birds, the hum of bugs, and the wind rustling the grass. He was so cute-- just drank it in.

Books with the little ones in the car during kindergarten testing. Baby kept leaning on the steering wheel and a loud blare would issue from the horn. Three year old fell backward off the console, all I could see were the bottoms of her upturned purple tennies and a muffled "I'm okay!" The rain was pattering on our roof as we read Harold and the Purple Crayon. I love the sound of rain when I'm inside....ahh....but then we had to venture outside. I must have been saying "OOOhhh! Ooooohh!" because the baby started copying me--OOO OOOO-- with his lips in the cutest little chubby circle shape. We were soaked but they didn't seem to mind.

Had a nap snuggled up with baby while older girls watched a string of Little Bear and more, rain tapping on our roof. We needed the rest! Baby still getting over ear infection and mom tired from a super busy week, still adjusting to getting up early and exercising.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Busy Times

We have had a busy week!

Some highlights: rocking my sleeping baby, his head on my chest, as he relaxed for the first time in a while. Listening to my six year old sing in her sweet off key voice, as I turned on a kids CD in the car instead of my usual mom-stuff. Lots of assorted loving cards and gifts from my cuties for mother's day-- my 10 year old son made me a bracelet out of paper clips and rubber bands. I love it. So thankful for the little moments.