Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mama's Mama

My beautiful mama and Noah, or Noah's Nanny.

Did you know that our new car has a loose tooth? (blue tooth)

"Do you like my eye-browns?"

Nanny & Noah
(About a year ago, a lil conversation they had)...
Noah: Nanny, what's your name?
Nanny: Denise
Noah: Noah and Denise, Noah and Denise (smiles)

Above, they are building an outside inside-house (notice the tree and pillows they carried inside his fort - blankets, stuffed monkeys, digging utensils - we could have camped here). These are a few late Mama's Day pics. We went on nature hikes and did some nature pooping (which turned out to be a spectator sport!).

My mama's love and support is enough to keep any tired rundown mother in working order. She amazes me. Her immense love of Noah, Ian & Grey reminds me why we embarked on this wild adventure in the first place.

Does this link work? Do you see pics?
More pics? I gotta get on Flickr y'all.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cure for the Common Meltdown

This seems very appropriate for how my week is going. I found this older post that I never published.

How is it going lately you ask? Something like this...

Leading me to wish I had one (okay, both) of these:

And was here (Antigua, baby):

Thank goodness for wishful thinking!

Somehow the tropical pictures are enough to bring me there... Or at least bring me to the tequila store to get some margarita mix and then to the back deck for 5 minutes of a 'tropical nature'. I think I speak my own language these days.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Little Italy

The Brightest Light, she lit up the room. You are missed and remembered by so many Lydie. We love you.

Lydia Denise Gosnell

February 20, 1980 - May 20, 2007

This year she would have turned thirty.

Thoughts from last year.

Thanks for the perfect name for this post, Jakob B.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mothering: Lessons I'm Learning

"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." - groucho marx Happy (late) Mother's Day to all you fabulous mamas out there! Random thoughts upstairs that I'll spill onto paper. Maybe this list can be a work in progress...
  1. Oxiclean can remove anything (and not just from clothes - from couches, carpets...)

  2. If I am trying to do many things at once (always), I feel stressed out. If I choose the children, it's a decision I will never regret. Simplify.

  3. How I conduct my relationships, talk to others and in general live my life is always being watched, ingested and emulated. In that respect, there is no line between a 'me' and the 'parent' that I am.

  4. Free reign on the inside of an automobile is a little boy's wonderland - and it can be a great car tutorial for the parents. We learned that our car has a key-less auto start, as a "safety" feature (your car starting is not the best sound to hear when you are not in it, but your 2 year old is).

  5. How many times have I thought, a young male engineer without kids designed this?

  6. I think instilling self esteem is one of the single most important responsibilities of a parent. It is the foundation which all relationships will be built on. The lens that all of life will be viewed through. It's the determining factor for how much their jug of happiness can hold.

  7. I try to make parenting choices based on what will instill self discipline - get our kids to think on their own, make amends. For example, it is my hope that our kids will make choices because they are the right ones to make, not just because a teacher told them to do it.

  8. One place you really want to avoid at all costs: The ER

  9. Does it really matter? Are the kids okay?

  10. As a natural-born over-reacter, I have tried, over the last 3 years, to learn to respond rather than react. This requires eons of thought, preparation, & scenario playing before "discipline opportunities" ever arise. This TRULY makes parenting a full-time job.

  11. As my good friend once said: It's not the parenting part that's hard. Being a bad parent is easy. (You want to eat that for breakfast? Sure! You're not ready for bed yet? Not a problem.) It's being a good parent that's hard.

  12. Humor is the great diffuser.

  13. I don't always do anything. Sometimes I mess up. Sometimes I get it right.

  14. What they say about a Mother's Instinct is true. Learning to trust it is hard. As my good friend pointed out - our society teaches us to not trust ourselves, our bodies. There is a product out there to 'fix' everything. Yet, often, we already have the answer.

  15. Drink wine.
More ramblings and revelations: Nathaniel Branden from his book The Psychology of Self Esteem: "There is no value judgment more important to man, no factor more decisive in his psychological development and motivation--than the estimate he passes on himself... The nature of his self-evaluation has profound effects on a man's thinking processes, emotions, desires, values, and goals. It is the single most significant key to his behavior." I love the book 'How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk'

Monday, May 03, 2010

Staying Afloat

Our Inaugural Pachanga 19 (Noah's Ark) boating excursion yesterday was a success. While it did take us several hours longer to get out the front door than anticipated (and a scenic trip to the wrong beach), it was worth the effort (and really long car drive). Although we thoughtfully packed, it seems like an impossible feat to include everything you might need. In went sunblock, clean/dry changes of clothes, spoons/buckets, diapers and wipes, cooler with waters and beer - you know, the necessities. We did, however forget one small item that might have come in handy...

Food. No worries, Ian ate sand. And, Noah, well, came up with his own solution. "Let's go to Restaurant Island." Hey, I want to go there too! Despite the engine sputtering and spitting a few times, I remained upbeat (de-sensitized) and the boat remained afloat!

Along the way, we have learned a few key lessons about Boating:

- Boats and rocks do not mix (actually learned this one a few times).
- It is generally not good to be surprised by how deep the water is.
- The fuel gauge is not the most ideal part of the boat to be inoperable.
- Trim tabs are sticky widgets.
- It is best to put your prop up BEFORE exiting the water.
- A new boat prop costs about $1200.
- Boats are expensive to repair.
- Grab your keys and wallet off the top of the boat before catching the highway.
- Generally plan for an extra 4-6 hours more than you think you'll need.

At home, we had a typical morning. A little herb garden planting, dead bird burying, & artwork creating. Light questions are posed: What is life? What happens when you die? How much is 5,000?

Speaking of turning wheels, Noah created a "Crank 3000" with his set of gears & crank parts (gift from Tommy D.). The thing was so intricately designed, I swear I could not have done it. Then, he asked me to help him make some adjustments to it. There's only one response to those kind of requests: You'll have to wait till daddy gets home. I'm just waiting for the "Are You As Smart Your Three Year Old?" series.

Apparently, the Crank 3000 can also cut anything bacon! (Maybe he was hungry?)