Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Garden of Toga

Tonight, in a moment of exhaustion and temporarily lapsed judgment I somehow accidently agreed to take my kids to the wretched Halloween store up the street (!?!?!?). I suppose it was just one of those instances where it seemed completely logical to just say yes than to consider why it wouldn't be the wisest choice right before bed... (rookie parenting mistake #4289,) but anyways. We went.

The littles were browsing the aisles and I was busy frantically trying to guide them away from the greusome parts of the store and keep them in the costume section, when all of a sudden Anabelle lights up like a Christmas tree and shreiks "OHH, MOM! We JUST learned about this in school today!!"

She is holding a picture of a college couple posing in Toga outfits!


Slightly embarassed by the looks we got from the 2 other people at the end of the aisle, I started asking some questions since I dont seem to remember that being in the cirriculum at my alma matter... a little tiny conservative christian school... paricularly at a preK level...

Finally annoyed at all my interest, she rolls her eyes and goes "Mom. You know. The story... about the apple tree? In chapel? I learned about them. What are their names?"

"Adam and Eve...?"

"Yes. Thats what I said. Thats who I learned about at school today."

Um. Thats NOT what you said. But ok, Anabelle. Glad you won't be attending your first Toga themed party any time in the near future.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dear Tyson,

The other day, on a bike ride with our beautiful daughter, I caught her staring straight past the shores of the sparkling toxic green lake to the Pavilion building that sits on the other side. I could tell from her wistful gaze and starry eyes that she was enjoying a daydream of you and remembering the sweetheart dance you made her feel like a queen at last Winter.

As I silently read her mind, I enjoyed a little daydream of my own about a different set of children who existed nearly a decade past, and had their own set of fond memories in that very same spot...

I hardly know those kids anymore, they are long past and a new set of children are now centered in our hectic lives that the sun rises and the moon sets over day after day after day.

But every once in awhile, I get a glimpse of that time and place in a rare quiet moment, like that one by the lake with our Anabelle, and it just reminds me...

I am so glad I grew up with you, and that we are here in the land of reality where there are a lot of hard days and every so often an easy one that make the rest worth while. I am proud of you, and of us, and of what we've accomplished together in just under a decade. I mean, we practically conquered puberty together! Thats a task! ;)

You know I'm slightly superstitious about odd numbers, but 9 years feels like something to relish. Its gone by fast... guess that must mean we're still having fun...?

In the words of your son, I love you far past the Polar express, and past all the chocolate rainbows in the sky. And you know how much chocolate and rainbows mean to me.

Thanks for an almost-decade of playing house with me, its been an exciting ride.

Next year... lets play 'tropical getaway' instead!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I had a strange opportunity last weekend.

My wonderful in-laws offered to spend some quality grand kid time with both little munchkins, and since Ty was working until late that night, I was left with several hours all alone.

I dont mean to scare anyone who reads this blog and doesnt have kids of their own (yet)... but I dont know that such a thing has ever occured for me in my entire motherhood experience. I mean, I've been alone here and there since I had them for specific reasons... and gone on a few weekends away and certainly dates with every boy who asks me (dont get all excited, its almost always Tyson). But I dont know that I've ever had nowhere to be and nothing on my agenda.

I thought it would be heaven. And now that I think back to its rapidly fading memory... it was heaven. But the entire time, I felt anxious! It was strange stuff. I definitely think I need some more of those occasions so I can get comfortable with the experience... Ha.

Anyways. In the end, I managed to fill my time quite adequately if I do say so myself. I've been hearing fables and parables and haiku's and love sonnets about this mystical land of running warehouse in San Luis Obispo. Its supposed to be, like, the mecca of all central coast runners. I've yearned to go there for oh so long... but the thought of hauling my kids in there while I tried to pretend I was legit enough of a runner to get the sales clerk to invest their undivided attention in me seemed like a lost cause. In hindsight, now that I had my golden opportunity, Im glad I listened to my inner mom voice and left the banchees on the island with the rest of the killer dinosaurs where they belonged.


I got to run on the special treadmill thingy that video tapes you, and analyzes your stride and points of impact (special treadmill thingy is the official technical term for the device, Im sure you already know that).

I run with some pretty amazing girls. All of them are faster than me, and more athletic over all... but they all seem to have quirky body aches and injuries and yet little shorty squaty old me only has aching love handles and doublechindenitius to whine about aside from the occasional chafe-age and blistering.

I've always pondered the mysteries of what makes up an ideal running shoe, and am perplexed at the wide variety of price ranges for someone like me, who has no injuries to speak of and would definitely like to keep it that way.

So yah. Long story short... I ran on the thing... my pants almost fell off in the process... and I found out in the end I have a 'neutral stride.'

Doesnt that sound boring?


There is nothing wrong with me or my stride. Yippee! So as 'vanilla' as it is to be average, I am excited that now, I posses the mystical knowledge and capability of cracking the code on running shoes boxes when I go to buy a new pair. And it issss about that time. My current Asics that ive had since marathon training (and never been particularly in love with I might add) have HOLES in the toe box. Imagine the padding if the toe box has holes. Crikey!

And speaking of never loving at all... I DID happen to fall truely madly deeply in love while I was in the store. This is the part where my screaming children could have come in handy. I am in much less of a mood to spend money at reckless abandon when I am comtemplating how to word my threats in public so as not to alarm innocent (childless) bystanders. But when I was there all alone... and the clerk introduced me to a bold, handsome, colorful pair of sparkling new top of the line and oh so this season pair of orange and grey Brooks Ghost3s... I'd be lying if I said I wasn't in a hot fit of passionate temptation.

But I didnt do it.

I came home, and Googled faithfully, and I think I found a pair I'm close to buying that are a few seasons old, but a fraction of the triple digits from the warehouse.

Anyways. Im sorry if you hate running and exercise, and people who blog about them as if the rest of the world should care. But indeed... these are the luxuries I fantasize about all day long, and sad as it may sound... it got me thru the day today.

And now, if you'll excuse me I think I heard a Ghost calling my name. That, or it was a peanut butter M&M...


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grizzly Cadet Kyle

So, my brother has been at Grizzly Youth Academy since July. Its a charter school for kids in their mid-teens that is run by the national guard. Basically, its military school.

Kyle was having a hard time with typical teenage everything at our local high school, and was given this option to get out. Up until the moment he left, I wasn't completely convinced he would choose it. We were all nervous, but when it came down to it, it seemed like a really sweet opportunity if he could stand it. So he gave it a shot.

When I say military school, I mean it. They are up at 0500 every day, running up mountains with 50lb packs strapped to their backs. They march in line. They speak when spoken to... but really, they just don't speak much at all. They work hard all morning, and then work hard some more on school work in the afternoon. They live on base- for 5 whole months- and are allowed one phone call home per week, and are permitted leave twice over the weekend several months in. He can receive letters, and is allowed to write back only with the time remaining after every stitch of academic work is perfected and turned in. On the weekends, they go on education field trips and help out with community service events. They are on an extremely tight schedule.

So I haven't seen or talked to my brother in weeks. The kids and I write him as much as we can, and he mostly writes my parents since his free time is practically non existent. We got one letter from him weeks ago, and he warned us that it was a rare treat. He didn't sound miserable at all in any of the letters I saw, but I miss my brother, and worry about him of course...

So finally this weekend it was September 11th. I never thought it would be a day I'd look forward to... but this year, it meant family day at Grizzly Youth academy. We all got to go and check it out, and spend the entire day watching his platoon's marching demo, meeting his comrades and superiors, and just bbqing and hanging out.

Without knowing exactly what to expect, I just have to say... I was blown away in the best possible sense of the phrase.

Kyle looks so different in all the best ways possible.

He sparkles and shines, and is definitely standing taller than I've ever seen. He's made a couple friends, nice ones!, who introduced themselves... and called me ma'am! He showed us his latest report card... with a bigfat4.0 on it. Not so much as an A-. He has stories that he is proud to share. He marched in line like a man... and out of several hundred kids actually managed to win recognition for his superior level of physical fitness.

(front row, far left, getting recognized)

His chiefs and lieutenants sought out our family, personally introduced themselves, and told us how much leadership and maturity Kyle possesses. He is one of the youngest kids they took this academy, and in December when he graduates he will have all the credits he needs to finish High School and I believe even a couple college credits since he is taking some extension classes offered thru our local community college.

I am so proud of my littlest baby brother. To be a part of this at sixteen takes a lot of strength physically and emotionally. I know for a fact I couldn't have done it at his age. He is beyond brave, and even tho he isn't quite half way done, I can tell for certain he will make it, and when he does he will be getting a HUGE return on this investment in his own future.

Love you, little Grizzly Bear Kylie! And I'm SO looking forward to eating your dust at the RockNRoll Phoenix half marathon this January.