Thursday, November 05, 2009

halloween 2009

After much frantic late-night crafting/sewing/knitting/felting of the I-decided-to-wait-till-two-days-before-Halloween variety, all costumes were mercifully completed before the big night. May I present: Harry Potter,Colette, the chef from Ratatouille and Yoda. Trick or treat, Aunty Acornbud! We had a grand time strolling through the neighborhood, procuring candy, listening to live bands (Who knew we had such rockin' neighbors?) and visiting haunted houses. Did I mention that Lord Sidious and Master Yoda have seemingly formed an odd alliance of sorts? Certainly not the strangest sight of the day given the one that greeted me at breakfast. Apparently, Harry and Colette were chugging the Polyjuice Potion again. Mad Eye lives!

Monday, October 05, 2009

slipping through my fingers

My relationship with Sweetie is a challenging and wonderfully complex one, as I suppose all mother-daughter relationships are. That she is my middle child exacerbates the situation, no doubt. She is at once headstrong, yet needy, fiercely independent, yet clingy; a dichotomy that constantly challenges and often exasperates me. Officially a big girl kindergartner, no longer my baby girl- we both struggle to come to terms with this unexpected metamorphosis and often find ourselves at odds, emotionally exhausted and at the end of our ropes.

And yet, this sweet and funny little girl inspires and humbles me in so many ways. To share unselfishly without any thought of reciprocation, to love with great faith... she unknowingly offers me these gifts. Watching the joy in her eyes as she gives her whole portion of her favorite snack to Bug to cheer him up or the way she borrows Star Wars books at the library for Ace simply to make him happy, I know that I am privileged to be on this path with her.

It is so easy for me to fall into the practice of focusing on flaws, rather than seeking the perfection that exists. (A foible I chalk up to my Virgo stars, I might add.) There is so much hidden treasure to be unearthed, if only I remember to be mindful and open to the possibility.

On that train of thought, some funny snippets from a recent conversation with Sweetie about why she wishes she were a grown-up that I want to savor and remember:
"Because I want to drink coffee with you from the press pot, Mom. I want to cut apples with a sharp, big knife instead of the white plastic one. I want to stay up late and drink wine with you and have that cheese you eat with the wine. I want to watch Harry Potter Six and even the scary parts in Harry Potter 4!!"
There will be plenty of time to do all these things and more, I promise you, so stay five just a bit longer, my funny little girl.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

hogwarts style

Ace has decided that he wants to be Harry Potter for Halloween, which secretly pleases me to no end. A dedicated HP fan myself, I get to live vicariously through him and maybe even dress in a supporting role (McGonagall? Umbridge?) to boot. What could be more fun? Ace picked up The Sorcerer's Stone late last school year and has since steadfastly soldiered through the series; he's now in the middle of #5 and spellbound by the idea of legilimency. This, of course, means daily wizardly discussions and duels- shouts of "Avada Kedavra!" and "Crucio!" (he's enamored of the Unforgivable Curses, as any second grader well should be) are pretty standard around our home.

Being cheap, I just can't bring myself to pay forty bucks (!!) for a flimsy Harry Potter costume. Besides, back in my day (I can't believe I just said that), half of the fun of Halloween was making your own costume... deciding what materials to use, thrifting for accessories and finally, constructing the outfit. Luckily, Ace and Sweetie are way on board this train of thought, so it didn't take much convincing to ditch the store-bought variety. Ace is going to recycle his Jedi robe from last Halloween into Harry's cloak/robes and use Dad's old frames for his signature glasses. I'm leaving the wand construction up to him, which I'm sure will involve endless amounts of tape and paper towel rolls. Or course, the knitter in me jumped at the prospect to knit him a First Year Gryffindor scarf, as seen in the first movie. I'm kind of wishing I'd thought to make the scarf on size 13 needles or something, though, as it's mind numbing stockinette in the round on size 7's, but still- it's Harry Potter!!- so no complaints here.

After contemplating being Hermione, Tinkerbell, a veterinarian, Cinderella and a vegetarian, Sweetie finally decided on being Princess Leia. I was slightly relieved, as I really wasn't sure how I was going to pull "vegetarian" off. I have some white fabric that can be fashioned into Leia's gown, but I'm concerned that Sweetie's hair may be too short to pull off the signature braided buns. Luckily, we've got a month to figure it out... or um, let her hair grow. Whichever happens first!

Monday, September 28, 2009


A certain Birthday Bug turned the big T-W-O this past weekend and much merriment ensued. There were birthday balloons (or "My birthday ball!" in Bug-speak, with much emphasis on the word, "my"), Yogurtland goodness laden with blueberries and strawberries, singing Star Wars cards, Star Wars books, Star Wars cupcakes with ice cream and candle almost-blowing. It was near-heaven for this Star Wars (Die-Yo, in Bug-speak) fanatic. May the Force be with you, Youngling Bug!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

i swear i still knit, but....

I kinda sorta got sucked into the cute Halloween bento craze over on Flickr. And on the topic of bento, I know it's completely irrelevant, but I never know whether 'bento' should be pluralized as a regular noun with an 's' or if it instead falls into the irregular identical singular/plural category as "sheep" and "deer." Really, it's all kind of moot as bento is not even an English word, but still. These are the kinds of things I worry about.

So anyway, I got sucked into the Halloween bento craze and you know.... lemming. I realize the ghost might have been more effective on white bread, but c'mon, you've got to have some nutritional standards, right? I'm glad to have had a chance to use my holiday cookie cutters for more than just cookies and can definitely see more holiday themed bento in the coming months!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I know it sounds hopelessly cliche, but I can't believe how fast kids grow up. So many interminable stretches of days go by, mired in the hustle and bustle of this stuff called "life." In all the craziness that life presents, it seems the weekend can't arrive fast enough, that age 2 can't be outgrown soon enough, that the sassy first grade attitude can't be rid of quick enough. The great irony, of course, is that it is exactly in these seemingly endless stretches of days that life truly occurs. For in the blink of an eye, the weekend yields to Monday, age 2 gives way to 3 and that first grade sass finds itself subdued in the throes of second grade. In a society so focused on anticipating the future, we neglect the present, enjoying our lives in retrospect, rather than in the moment. Realizing how much of my kids' lives I tend to appreciate after-the-fact, it became my New Year's resolution to live presently. Being that I've failed MUCH more than I've managed to succeed, I will admit that I probably should have just committed to eating more beans or something more manageable like that, but hey, it's the effort and mindset that count.

Friday night was one of those rare but precious successes that I'm so grateful to have experienced. Ace and I went on a Cub Scout night hike up on Tantalus with his pack. Things didn't start off so happily, as I pulled into the campground after 20 minutes of kamikaze winding roads only to realize that I'd forgotten our flashlights. Not a big deal, unless you're crazy anal and just finished driving 20 minutes of kamikaze roads. I started to unhinge (my characteristic autopilot response), until I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the saddest look on Ace's face- he had been so excited about his first night hike, and I could tell that in one fell swoop, I had blown it. I resolved to pull it together and apologized, determined to salvage the evening and be in the moment. We joined our den with smiles and had the most fantastic time. We took in the stars and Jupiter and then embarked on our hike, which was pretty challenging for the little guys as it had rained recently and the ground was muddy and slippery. Along the route, Ace took a tumble over some overgrown roots, but he got back up, grinning, just loving every moment of his adventure in the night, fall and all. Kids have such a natural ability to be in the moment. (Just a side note about proper protocol upon scout's fall: do NOT, under any circumstances, shine someone else's flashlight into the steep embankment and ravine one foot away from where your child is treading, as it may incite profanity-laced exclamations about what would possess your cub master to choose such an insane trail of death.)
Ace and I savored the moments. It was amazing to experience everything for the first time through his eyes. Looking down upon the city lights, discovering constellations, watching his wonder as the campfire was lit and slowly burned down to embers over the course of an hour for S'mores.... I felt seven and a half again, giddy and so honored to have journeyed with him that night. Most of all, I'm so glad it was not just a fuzzy, distant experience to scrapbook and deem a happy memory. Life is most delicious when lived with the consciousness that happiness is.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

cans of a different variety

I opened up a can of whoop-ass on Sick.

See, Sick, with a capital "S" is not your generic, self-limiting head cold. It's the vicious cycle of seemingly endless contagion that plagues our house at least once a year for weeks and sometimes months on end. This current back-to-school variety of Sick has volleyed back and forth among the kids and J for about 6 weeks now, and that was all well and good, until the little tickle I felt in my throat last week rudely morphed into a hack that decided to make house in my chest.

Well, enough is enough and this mama has had enough of Sick. Fantasizing about Healthy, there seemed nothing better than to serve up a can of nutritional whoop-ass in the form of homemade chicken soup, replete with kale, onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, whole wheat pasta and black beans. Finished with a sprinkle of parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and a side of corn muffins to sop up any leftover bits in the bowl. Here's hoping that Sick is down for the count!