Friday, March 25, 2011

Good Times

Spring Break!!!!!!!!!  Look out Fort I come.  Well, not quite.  There was a time when a Fort Lauderdale spring break was enticing... but not this year.  Likely because I am still using my "I just had a baby"  excuse for not exercising and anything made of spandex with the word string in it would run away screaming if I introduced it to my body.  Since my "just had a baby" excuse is slowing creeping up to the two year mark...I am looking for a new one.   I am taking suggestions.  Please leave a comment with your best excuse not to exercise. 

I think  one of the best things about being a mom in my thirties is that I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.  I'm okay with the fact that I won't be packing suntan oil and flip flops and heading out where the music is pumping and the drinks with umbrellas are flowing a little too easily.  I've experience those good times.  And let me tell ya...they were some good times!  I am grateful for those all nighters...those party till daybreak...sleep the day away... laughing till it hurts... singing with the band...I'm in my twenties making memories days.  And every once in a while the "I think I'm in my twenties" Carrie comes out but, for the most part, those memories are stored in photo albums, in souvenirs, and in my heart.

Instead of bikinis and sunscreen, I will be packing a play pen and a portable DVD player.  I am excited about that.  A little road trip.  The little bump in the daily routine that we been waiting for.  Some family time.  Callie knows that we are in holiday mode.  She had two desserts tonight .  She had movie night with mixed up snacks and a juice box.  And she got to stay up past her bedtime.

So, I'm not boarding a flight on my way to Fort Lauderdale.  Tonight I kicked off the start of spring break by snuggling Lexi longer than usual.  We rocked in the chair.  I watched her yawn and rub her eyes.  I kissed her forehead over and over. I inhaled her scent...a combination of freshly washed skin and baby lotion.  I admired her by the slivers of sunlight that forced their way into the room around the edges of the closed blinds.  I rocked with her until her mile-long eyelashes rested on top her cheeks and her breaths were slow and steady.  These are my good times.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nana, Papa and Grandpa

Yesterday was a great day.  My mother and father-in-law, the girls' Nana and Papa, made it home safe and sound from their long trip.  At least that's what we've been calling it to Callie and Lexi.  Nana and Papa are actually snow birds who have been escaping our nasty, northern winters for a lot of years now... and yesterday they returned after nearly 3 months of skyping, messaging and texting.  Their absence was one of the reasons my blog they could be voyeurs into the daily life of their grandgirls.  They could read the story's of our days just as we would tell them if they were here. 

Lovin our new jammies and the evening sunshine beaming through the living room windows.
 Technology is amazing...keeping us connected, up to date, never alone...but it will never be a substitute for the real thing.  Technology cannot give you a real hug where you can smell the person's perfume or feel a heart beating as you embrace each other closely. is a substitute...but it is not human.

 Of course, Nana and Papa came bearing gifts.  Birthday gifts and gifts just because.  The aura of excitement in the air when children are tearing paper off gifts can be described and watched via technology...but can only be felt in your heart when one is there in person to breathe it in. We are so happy to have Nana and Papa home to breathe in that excitement.

One of the girls' gifts was a book.  It is a story about a Grandpa who takes his granddaughter to see the Grand Canyon.  Callie loved the story.  And it is a perfect story for her because of her imaginary Grandpa. Some kids have imaginary big girl has an imaginary Grandpa.

This imaginary Grandpa joined our family about a year ago.  He showed up in our home shortly after we had taken a trip to visit her Great-Grandpa who lives in a personal care home several hours away.  Callie's "Grandpa" would buy her new Dora shoes, he has every toy at his house, he let's her do things like put her feet on the table, he takes her skating and swimming.  This "Grandpa"  is pretty amazing. 

One day I asked her which Grandpa she was talking about because she doesn't have a Grandpa (both her grandfathers have the title Papa).  She replied, "I do have a Grandpa.  He lives in the hospital."  I go on to explain that all these things she is doing with her Grandpa sound wonderful but they aren't true.  Callie looked at me like I was crazy and said, "I know mom!  It's just pretend."

More sunshine.
 Ever since that response I have never questioned her relationship with her "Grandpa". We have welcomed him into our family and he is here so often that we don't even notice him anymore.  That is until someone outside our imaginary family makes a comment about all the things she does with her "Grandpa".  He is such a part of our life that I now talk about him like he is real.  I say things like, "Maybe your Grandpa will buy that for you; Ask your grandpa to help you; You can finger paint at Grandpa's house." 

If only her great-grandpa knew all the joy he brings to Callie.  I picture him doing all these things with her and it brings a smile to my face.  Get ready Grandpa because your next trip is to the Grand Canyon!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Out of Hibernation

Today is the first day of spring and this weekend we finally came out of hibernation. This weekend we did some things that we hadn't done since the winter took hold and held us hostage for months.

Yesterday, the girls and I took the short trek across the road to have coffee with daddy at the shop.  We hadn't been over there for a coffee break since last August.  Not much had changed at the shop but a lot had changed at our end.  Lexi was not walking the last time we visited daddy at work and this time she tore up the place.

It is a sure sign that we have come out of hibernation when you see the three of us running across the road from our house to the shop with no jackets... I have coffee and juice boxes and snacks in one hand and Lexi in the other trying not to slip on the icy road that is starting to soften and melt as the sun gets higher in the sky. 

This weekend our extended family came out of hibernation.  We had family in town visiting from the west coast.  The glorious west coast where the grass is green and flowers are blooming... where spring is only a slight change from winter.  They made the long trip to experience the first day of spring...northern style.  And it took this far away family visiting us to bring the close by family out of hibernation.  What better way to greet spring than visiting and laughing and reminiscing with family.  And you know you have something special in a family when things pick up exactly where they left off...whether it has been a day, weeks or months since the last time you talked.  There is a comfort and unspoken love that is always present.  The kind of love where you know you are thought of and cared for...where if you needed someone they'd be there for you...the kind of love where you don't even have to say anything to feel it and know that it is there.  Welcome to the blog family!

The end of hibernation... that means we had to put the new boots to the test. And they were perfect...

And what would the first day of spring be without the start of spring cleaning?  I started with the fridge because Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard was bare and with the fridge so empty the splashes and spills could not be ignored.  It's one of those jobs that seems so daunting a task but once you get started it's not so bad.  And when you are done, you open the door just to look at the gleaming shelves and organized condiments.  And then you start making rules like ....salad dressings go here and sauces over there and if we just wipe it regularly it wouldn't get so bad...but really, before you know it, it is back to all its glory of spilled milk and "just throw out the whole container because I'm too scared to open it."

Ahh yes..spring cleaning.  At least I had some help.

On the calendar spring has arrived.  And like the bears who have been sleeping all winter, we will wipe the sleep from our eyes and start moving...slowly...looking for food...and our family and friends who have also been sleeping.  Hello spring.  It's nice to see you.  It's been awhile but we will pick up right where we left off.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Friday night is starting like this...

A glass of wine and a shmucked up computer screen with a missing question mark key.  My girls are tucked  into their beds, their breaths steady... in and out.  They are resting up for the weekend.  Their at home days.

Yesterday, St. Patrick's Day, I forgot to wear green.  I forgot to dress the girls in green.  I forgot to to put the "Dad's Lady Luck" shirt on Lexi.  It's kinda a one chance shirt.  We don't really celebrate St. Patty's for a week or a season like other holidays. And I forgot... I forget a lot of things. 

Instead, my sweethearts wore pink and purple. 

That baby has been her best friend this week.  His name is Jake...a confident boy who wears pink.
When I picked Callie up from preschool yesterday she revealed to me, in the most serious, this is fact voice..."If you don't wear green on Leprechaun day, you will get a pinch.  I sure hope I don't get a pinch because I'm not wearing green."  What?  I have never heard of this pinching business before.  Is it true?  She goes on to tell  me that Leprechauns can be sneaky and she is going to be very careful not to get pinched today. 

Someday I'll  be one of those mom's with a spreadsheet magneted to the fridge clearly depicting what color is to be worn on what day, where exactly to be at what time, stickers for doctor's appointments and playdates...who am I kidding?  I'd print the spreadsheet then forget where I put it!

I forgot to wear green because I was too preoccupied with thinking about spring.  More like thinking "where the hell is spring?"  We got up to -25 this morning.  With the first day of spring only a couple of days away...something miraculous better happen! 

To help hurry the transition into the next season we stopped at the store on our way home and got ourselves some rubbers.  Rubber boots that is.

Callie picked the blue pair...because that is her dad's favorite color.  And I'm sure that Callie has a pair or two of hand me down water boots that would be perfectly fine for Lexi to wear...but she was sooo adorable oohing and uuuhhhing and pointing at the pair she wanted I got her a new pair too.  And really, I have no idea which box those hand-me-down boots are in.  Too bad I didn't make a spreadsheet depicting what is in that stack of boxes downstairs as I packed up Callie's too small treasures.

We also picked up some ice cream sandwich bars.  Why not?  It's almost spring. 

Let the weekend begin.  A  two day mini va-cay.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Some Days

"Some days are better than others..." Charlie Major

If my blog had music that is the song that would be playing.  Today was one of those long days that seem to last forever.  It is Wednesday and the climb to the summit of Hump Day was strenuous and draining.  Maybe it's because I worked through lunch.  Maybe it's because the north wind was blowing snow off the rooftops and with it all the hope and feelings of spring that were here just a few days ago.  Maybe I'm just tired.

All I can say about days like these is...  I need a vacation!  We need to have a little bump in the daily routine.  A break from the daily grind.  We need some unscheduled days, lazy jammie mornings, a road trip...a little getaway.  Maybe even a little chaos... and a lot of fun.  Some craziness that will make us appreciate the routine days.

Where's the beach?

Long days like today cause me to be short on words and unable to think clearly because all I can hear is my bed calling my name... summoning me to crawl into its cozy covers and close my eyes.  Tomorrow will be a new day...a better day.  We will be on the downhill slide...coasting to the weekend and closer to a vacation.

Some days we all need a little boost.

 Good Night.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Time... It flies.  It heals all wounds. It runs out. It is managed.  It is of the essence. And today, it sprang ahead. Today we are shorted an hour of our weekend.  Only 23 hours in this day and when you already feel like you don't have enough time...springing ahead an hour doesn't seem like a great idea.  To make up for this loss, we crammed as many things into our weekend as we could.

Yesterday I took Callie to her first Carnival.  Not a carnival in the grandest sense of the word but a perfect, indoor, small town carnival with a bouncy house and games that earn you tickets that can be cashed in for wonderful treasures and of course cotton candy and popcorn. 

Callie chose the pink pterodactyl as her awesome prize with very legitimate four year old reasoning... pink because it was a girl and the pterodactyl because it was smiling so then Lexi wouldn't be scared of it.  The T-Rex's teeth looked mad and none of the others were pink.  Even with all her thoughtfulness and her compassion for her sisters feelings, pterodactyl got banished to the laundry room because Lexi's was terrified.

Time... It is precious.  We can loose track of it.  Especially in the company of good friends.   This weekend we spent precious time enjoying the company of friends.  We went sliding and had a pizza party.  I thought it would be fun if all the kids could make their own individual pizzas.  I had the dough rolled out and put on individual plates all ready to be decorated with the toppings of their choice.  Then came the hmmmm?  How am I going to get the pizza off the plate and onto the baking sheet to cook? 

If you ever want to have one of these individual pizza type parties here is the secret.  At the suggestion of my genius friend...put the pizza dough crust on aluminum foil and then decorate it. (Don't forget to spray the foil.) The pizzas easily moved from the table, where the kids were pizza artists, to the baking sheet to be put in the oven. And they turned out perfectly. 

And since I'm talking about time.  It took a little time to prep for a mini pizza party.  But it was time well invested.  Invested in friends.  Invested in family.  Invested in making memories.

We did have some quiet time mixed in throughout the fun.  A little too quiet.  You know the kind of quiet that gets your mom radar fired up.  The kind of quiet that has you asking...what are they up too?  I saw the evidence...a kitchen chair pushed up to the counter.  I never thought much of it until Lexi came running and uuhh, uuhh, uuhhhing and pointing to the carpet in Callie's room.

Oh the sticky mess of International Delight coffee cream soaked into a cheap, purple Walmart rug.  On a positive note, the smell was quite pleasing.  It sorta smelled like fresh baked cookies.  But really, who has the time to steam clean the carpet on a day that only has 23 hours?

Time... It gets wasted.  It gets killed.  And today we lost it.  But that lost hour is the start of something beautiful.  The start of more time.  More time in the daylight.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Breathe Deeply

Tonight, when I went out to do some shopping, the air was warm.  I breathed deeply. I felt alive.  I felt giddy with anticipation as this first hint of mild temperatures gives us hope that March may actually go out like a lamb.  The snow is saturated...heavy and grey...walking the the tightrope line between being a snowman and a being a puddle just waiting to be splashed in with new rubber boots.

The stores' merchandise was screaming SPRING.  Easter chocolates, spring party dresses, umbrellas, rain coats, and brightly colored rubber boots. I nearly bought Callie a pair of boots even though I know it will still be weeks before she will need them.  I debated between the psychedelic flowers, the sweet pink kitty cats, the purple butterflies or the red and black ladybugs.  I wanted her to have them for whatever mood she was in.  It could rain everyday when you have super cool rubbers!  I could not decide. So I returned them all to the shelf.  I will let Callie choose.  She is very decisive and will have no trouble settling in on her favorites.

Despite what the stores merchandise tells us about the season, we will still be blessed with rosy cheeks and hot chocolate days and  babies who insist on taking off their boots and socks every time we go somewhere... for a little while yet.  But it still feels good to breathe deeply.

We always have lots of help in the kitchen.
The anticipation of the things too come is sometimes just as sweet as the prize.  And to sweeten the anticipation, tonight's bedtime story begged for warmer days and made promises of things to come.

I will continue to breathe deeply... the mild air and the anticipation of spring and all its promises.  But until the snow succumbs to the heat of the sun and creates its marvelous puddles for jumping...  we will let Lexi make her own because I have all but given up on keeping her away from the water cooler.

Breathe deeply.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Words of Encouragement

We all need to be encouraged.  Some more than others. We need to be encouraged to take risks, to try new step out of our comfort zone. 

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon some used, kid's sized cross country skis.  Now, skiing has been one of those things on my to do list for a long time.  I haven't cross country skied since high school gym class and I have wanted to try it again for the last couple of years.   So when I spotted those pint size skis for just the right price I snatched them up.   I was inspired to get skiing checked of my to do list and excited for Callie to have the experience.

Callie thought her new skis were pretty awesome and told me everything she knew about skiing from watching Goofy on Mickey Mouse. Yesterday was our big debut.  But as it turns out...I ended up going alone. 

I did my best to convince Callie how much fun it was going to be.  That it was going to be just me and her. Lexi doesn't get to come-only big girls.  It will be sooo boring at home with dad while Lexi has her nap.  You don't have to ski, you can just watch...please, mommy doesn't want to go alone...

My efforts were futile.  She very politely responded with a "No thanks, mom.  Maybe when I get a little bigger.  I think you can go by yourself.  I'll stay home with dad."

I know this about her.  She has always needed time to warm up to an idea.  We have been to the sliding hills and watched the other kids for hours and gone home without even an attempt at experiencing the exhilarating feeling of racing down the hill.  With continued perseverance, and the fact that we are blessed with winter for six months of the year, Callie now freely enjoys sliding and begs to go again and again.

I always struggle with where the line lies between encouraging words and pushing too hard.  The line between wanting your child to try something because I know in my logical mind she will love it and knowing when to respect her decision to not want to do something. 

I am still getting to know Callie.  I am learning to be patient...learning that she needs time to test the be comfortable before she jumps in.  I am learning to love this about her. I went skiing by myself.  Then we went to play in the snow.... in her comfort zone...and it was good.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

No More Questions

First it was the space bar, then it was shift, and today it was the question mark. I have had three computers in the last 4 years and each one has lost one of its keys to the hands of my children.  This morning, as I sipped my coffee, I thought I would check my email and read some status updates while Callie and Lexi were being entertained by Mickey Mouse. 

The computer is like a kid magnet.  Everyone is happily enjoying their thing until the moment the laptop gets opened.  Before you know what is happening the cyber-magnetic force pulls kids away from toys, snacks and TV and instantly little fingers are pushing buttons and shmucking up the screen. 

Today the question mark lost its life at the hands of a big, heavy Mickey Mouse sticker book thumped on the keyboard by Lexi. (????-they now need to be cut and pasted from elsewhere.)

We have gotten into this little routine over these winter months. Me and the girls like to go out for breakfast on Saturday morning.  So that is what we did today.  Gotta love restaurant coloring and soup crackers to pass the time until the pancakes arrive.  And after the question mark casualty...I needed some more coffee.

We also put on our aprons and baked some chocolate chip cookies today.  Usually baking of any kind involves two kitchen chairs pushed up to the counter and six hands mixing and stirring and adding ingredients.  But today the girls spotted the chocolate chips and by putting some into two little bowls for Callie and Lexi, I ended up rolling the cookie balls by myself as they devoured their treats.  The only sound in the house was some chocolate lip smakin' and the call for a glass of milk to wash it down. 

Is there anything better than warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven (question mark)

Enjoy your Saturday.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inbetween Days

There are some days that are just your regular run of the mill days.  I call these the inbetween days...the days inbetween parties or events...the days inbetween vacations or long weekends.  These in between days make up the majority of our lives and today was one of them.

An inbetween day looks like this when we arrive home...

This morning when I was getting beautified for work, I looked in the mirror and thought for the umteenth time...I should make an appointment for a haircut.  That is how an inbetween day starts.  I think it, I know it would do me a world of good to get a little trim, maybe a new color and yet...I did nothing about it. 

And today at work, my heel fell off my favorite, most comfortable, worked in, fit like a glove black boots.  I have known for a while that I needed to get a new pair...possibly a more modern, cooler, rocker girl type appropriate but with an edge.  And I did the unthinkable.  I taped my heel back on my boot, I examined it in the mirror and thought "hey, not bad." 

What is wrong with me!!!!  When did this happen to me.  When did I turn into the person who thinks its okay to wear boots with a taped heel?  And I'm telling myself that I can't wear them anymore but I know tomorrow morning, when its time to leave the house, I am going to look at them and think, "well the tape is clear... I'm sure nobody will notice...maybe I'll wear them just one more time."  I repeat, What is wrong with me!!!  Have I finally "Let myself go"?  I want to shout at myself - Go and get yourself a hair cut... and buy some new boots while your at it!

Ahh yes, an inbetween day.  Just the normal procrastinating and putting off until tomorrow kinda day.  Inbetween days are necessary and they make up the bulk of our life.  Today I burned my grilled cheese sandwich and thought -oh well- and began to eat it.  After two bites I ask again, What is wrong with me!!!  I decided to throw it out and start over.

When Callie put her jammies on tonight she managed to get the top on backwards.  She literally had a monkey on her back.  On an inbetween day we wear boots with a taped heel, we put our jammies on backwards, we read books, and we play.

I'm sure that there are profound reasons why these inbetween days are so important to our overall well-being...but my brain is too tired to ponder them right now.  I am completely open to suggestions and to the wisdom of others today.

Happy inbetween day.