Thursday, December 29, 2011

tax season and time passers.

On days without Duke we morph into a near-feral gang. Ice cream for breakfast. Pajamas all day. A house like a junkyard.

I know that when he's around I don't need to impress him with my homemaking skills or anything. But with him to be a cheering spectator I've got some motivation to achieve in my wifely life. Take away my fan and our once adventurous team watches movies all day long.

When he's away I put the kids to bed at 8pm and don't expect him until after 10. So what do I do with those precious hours? Geek-out on the computer, of course.

I think about all the time I've spent making banners for this silly blog.


Hey, remember when things were really simple? When we only had one kid.

Hey, remember my incredibly narcissistic phase? I haven't entirely grown out of it as evident by the fact that I'm still blogging.

Oh yeah. There was that time when I craved color.

With each baby born, I've had to find ways to squeeze everyone in...

Take previous header, add infant.

Do you ever look back at certain periods of your life and think, "wow, that was the tops?" I've placed Summer Of 2010 in a pedestal position. I often wish for a repeat. The summer ahead is shaping up to be that brand of magical. I do believe that hope will sustain me until April 15th when my accountant husband can linger in my arms again.

The computer. Photoshop. Fellow bloggers. That is my retreat. This year I hope to moderate my escape. This year I plan to find other avenues for stress relief. I say that every year. I mean it every year.

Oh, sweet change. You keep me alive.

Did you know that we are about to close on our first home? Did you know that I will be in furniture-rearranging heaven? Although Duke will not be around to help much in the moving and the cleaning, I think the challenge will come at the perfect time for my change-hungry soul.

Family of six. Holy cow. Have I mentioned lately that I am a mother of four? I have a daughter now. These children are my strength. My comfort. They don't even notice when the house is messy. We can do this. Hand in hand in hand in hand in hand.

Yesterday was a long day for Duke. While he worked tirelessly I photo-shopped my children eating the sun. My life is so hard, right?

Heck yes, I've got the better end of this "you work and I'll stay home with the kids" deal! I'm suddenly invigorated! We can do this! We will totally rock this!

Now off to compose a live list.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Iggy was an angel.

I am not even kidding.

Imagine 40 three to four year old children in a 25' X 25' dressing room.

Imagine that the room has really hot makeup lights. Yes, really. The children were wearing makeup so they couldn't cry or wipe their faces without someone bothering them to stop. They were restricted to water and crackers because they couldn't eat any food that might stain the costumes. (Luckily a thoughtful mom sent her child along with a massive amount of string cheese to share.) I'm sure you can picture that there was no room to play.

Imagine that the four parent volunteers (myself included) have no idea what is going on. Picture those clueless volunteers torturing the angels by getting them in full costume too early, making them stand against the wall, quietly waiting for their cue, and then forcing them out of their costumes again upon receiving word (45 minutes later) that the dress rehearsal is running 3 and 1/2 hours behind schedule. Believe it.

Those darling children were applauded by a full house for adorably appearing on stage in a 30 second performance.

Had that audience known what the darlings had been through the day before at the dress rehearsal, there would have been a standing ovation for the real angel performance that took place backstage.

That was the dress rehearsal. Five hours of hell for forty angels.

The show (pictured in this post) was the heavenly setting for those halos and wings. One third the number of children. Much wiser volunteers. A smoothly-running show.

I came away from the experience with a real picture of what it takes to be a dedicated dancer.

And what that means for a mother of a dedicated dancer.

At first I was sad that I would miss seeing the show from the house seating.

Now I feel totally privileged to have seen Iggy so well-behaved in such a miserable situation.

Three and a half months ago Duke and I prayed for guidance in helping Iggy with some behavioral issues. We felt inspired to enroll him in ballet and to challenge him to earn his dance clothes and shoes for the class through a reward system we devised together.

I never could have foreseen the spectacular strides he's taken since then.

He walked out onto the stage and I could have jumped for joy. He did it. He made it. Here his hard work culminated in the object of his desire.

A massive "awwwwe!" rang in their baby angel ears as the audience fawned over their near-deadly cuteness.

They walked out and stood dumbfounded in a clump, wide-eyed and totally captivated by the grandeur.

Iggy remembered (about halfway through his part) that he should be doing something besides staring at the sugar-plum fairy. He turned a little spin. He wandered a bit. He wandered some more, so much so that the enchanting fairy and an older angel lovingly directed him off stage.

And that was that.

Back to the dressing rooms to wait for curtain call where they sat on the stage and stared blankly at the strangers in front of them. Iggy saw me in the wing and ran to hide in my lap before the curtain even closed.

I honestly don't know if he'll even want to go to dance class when it resumes next week. He was all too anxious after the show to replace his dance slippers with hero boots.

We'll see. All I know is that those dance shoes have helped him to find some inner grace.

What a lovely way for Father to answer a prayer.

my sister the showgirl.

Thank you local high school for moving the Spring musical up so that we could enjoy a "White Christmas" in Oregon!

My sister played a totally ridiculous (slash promiscuous) showgirl and female lead dancer.

Oh my heck, it was fun.

Did you know that I have the best husband in the world? You can spot him standing in a very slow-moving line during intermission to get Sparky and I cookies while we goofed around.

Did you know that my sister is nearly 18 and she's still never had a first kiss (if you don't count the stage kiss a while back)?

So watching her play this part was so delightfully shocking! I loved every second.

We sat in the fifth row back, which happened to be the row that was magically snowed-on in the closing scene. I was taking photos and saw the flakes through my lens. Having no peripheral vision with my eye glued to the viewfinder, I became both confused and joyous when I thought it was really snowing (like with real snow) everywhere, on everyone.

And Tamsin was the one playing the ditz. Haha.

Did you know that I'm really going to miss my sister when she graduates and moves (probably to Utah) in the coming year?

I bet you could have guessed I'd miss her.

Hooray for family. For Christmas. For Theater. For cookies. For cameras. For opportunities to be merry.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


a. wear a two-year-old in a back-pack.
b. carry a two-month old in a front pack.
c. chase two kids on bikes, ushering them across streets and encouraging them to keep riding.
d. all of the above

I choose... d. all of the above. (Don't ask me why.)

And about half-way home we all start crying.

The other day while they were playing, Sparky said, "Common little brother, you can do it. We never give up."

My proud mom heart feels thankful for the pickles we get ourselves into. Because we've had a lot of practice getting back out.

We endure. And suddenly our home's never felt so warm. Our sandwiches have never tasted so good. Our nap-times have never been so welcome.