Friday, October 31, 2008

What a happy Halloween it was....

Ignoring the major fit at bedtime ("My body's not tired! NOT TIRED!!"), it was a great evening.

For the first year, Max was completely into the Halloween thing. We had costume debates, practice trick-or-treat sessions, and candy negotiations. But what it all resulted in was a double stroller carrying a duck and a lobster around the neighborhood, meeting some of our neighbors for the first time.

Hoisting Max out of the stroller, watching him walk (after usually asking his Daddy for help/courage) up to the door and ringing the doorbell, and gleefully picking a piece of candy out of the bowl was so much fun. Luke and I hung out at the stroller. Then Max would scamper back down the sidewalk to try and climb back into the stroller in his fluffy pile of feathers before we moved on to the next house.

We were afraid he would want to go forever. But after about 7 stops, he announced he was done. As we walked home he did decide to visit a couple more houses, but by the time we got home he asked, "Why did we go to so many houses?".

Luke? In typical Luke fashion, he hung out. Happy camper, fell asleep when we got home - didn't even get him out of his costume yet. Next year will be more fun for him.

So much fun - being a parent really makes the holiday.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A fun post...

My friend Emily did this on her blog the other day, and I thought I would give it a shot. You should try it - and if you blog it, please let me know so I can read it!

Ten Things I Wish I Could Say to Ten Different People Right Now:

1. "Please be careful. I still need you more than you know."
2. "Thank you. I can only hope that you know how lucky we are to have you."
3. "You inspire me. Someday let's meet."
4. "Thank you for loving them."
5. "I'm here. A long way away, but I'm here. And someday you might know what that means."
6. "Thanks for always being on my side."
7. "NO biting!"
8. "I miss you. I wish you were here."
9. "I'm so sorry. This stinks. You don't deserve it and it isn't fair."
10. "You are not alone. You don't have to be so strong. Lean on us."

Nine Things About Myself:
1. My feet are my favorite body part.
2. Sometimes I would rather be on the computer than playing with the boys.
3. I often only shave below my knees.
4. When I have a tough day ahead, I wear a necklace that was one of my Grandmother's diamonds. It makes me feel like she is there, and gives me strength.
5. I adore the Chicago Bears, and have been counting down to the beginning of basketball season.
6. I am often too lazy to do the creative things that I want to do, surfing the web instead.
7. If I could, I would wear a hoodie every day.
8. I can't live without TIVO.
9. I want to move, just to be forced to clean everything out!

Eight Ways to Win My Heart:
1. Rub my shoulders.
2. Support my crazy fixations with cloth diapers and baby wearing.
3. Praise the virtues of Walter Payton, Buck Williams or Rasheed Wallace
4. Play Jimmy Buffet's "Little Miss Magic"
5. Chocolate
6. Be honest. Tactful, but honest.
7. Surprise kindnesses
8. Love my boys

Seven Things That Cross My Mind a Lot:
1. How can someone still be undecided?
2. Why can't there be more hours in the day?
3. Thank goodness for half-time!
4. They are the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
5. I'm so glad we got the red couch. (Yes, I still feel that way after 6 years!)
6. It's all going too fast.
7. I'm not done yet.

Six Things I Do Before I Fall Asleep:
1. Turn off the computer
2. Drink two glasses of water
3. Brush my teeth
4. Take out my contacts
5. Read
6. Nurse Luke and watch him sleep

Five People Who Mean a Lot:
1. Max
2. Luke
3. Dan
4. Mom and Dad
5. Erin

agh! only 5?

Four Things I'm Wearing Right Now:
1. Nursing tank top
2. Penguin pajama bottoms
3. Wedding ring
4. Two toe rings

Three Songs I Listen to a Lot: [at the moment]
1. "Grand Canyon" Ani DiFranco
2. "Little Liza Jane" Elizabeth Mitchell
3. "Banana Pancakes" Jack Johnson

Two Things I Want to Do Before I Die:
1. Fight my own laziness to pursue those things which I am passionate about.
2. Raise good people. Inspire them to make our world more kind.

One Confession:
Sometimes my motivation to go out and do something is so that I have something to write about here!

I'm not sure whether or not to write this...

I haven't been on in a while. And part of that is that life is just busy. Sometimes by the end of the day, I don't have anything coherent to write. And sometimes I would just rather do something else.

But the other part is this: I don't want to offend anybody. I don't want to post things that could bother those friends and family that spend their busy moments stopping by here every once in a while. And my brain has been a little fixated on that which might offend. Yup - what I am beating around the bush is the upcoming election.

Here we are, 9 days before the election of the next president. And as much as I have always followed and been interested in politics, I am not sure I have ever felt quite as passionately as I do right now. I truly feel that the future of our country will be greatly shaped by the person that becomes our next leader. Maybe more so now than any election I remember. And I desperately hope that one candidate beats the other.

It's hard.

I know that people I care about feel very differently than I do. These are people that I respect. I don't understand where they are coming from, and I know that I will not change their mind.

So I've decided to leave my candidate of choice out of this post.

Instead, I have come to you tonight with my true agenda for this post. Vote. Just that. Please vote. Vote with your head and your heart. Research, research, research. Feel good about the choices we have. Make the choice that rings true with the hopes you have for our country, our world. Honor those who fought for our opportunity to complete a ballot. And then celebrate.

I cast my ballot last week (love that Vote-by-mail!). While I didn't get to model to Max and Luke the process of going to a local election site and cast my vote like my mom modeled for me, we did a little dance and sang an impromptu voting song as we marched to the mailbox. And I felt lucky to finally have an opportunity to vote for someone I believe in.

I hope the same for you. And I guess that's all I want to say about that.

Oh - and if you are in Clackamas county, please vote for our libraries.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Patch....

One of my favorite things about fall is the chance to go to the Pumpkin Patch. I adore the "Charlie Brown-ness" of it all - it just feels right to be there. And at this point I don't think I could bring myself to buy a pumpkin at a store. Being surrounded by the beautiful leaves, the smell of caramel corn, and the field of pumpkins makes fall feel real and right.

Last Friday the boys and I met with our playgroup out at Liepold Farm to gather pumpkins and play in their play area. We lucked out and missed the rain that had been visiting all week, and despite the cold the kiddos loved running aroung pushing the minature wheelbarrows and picking pumpkins. The mamas enjoyed reminiscing about our pregnant bellies the year before, and how much busier our lives were now that all of the second children have arrived. A great time was had by all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Our Soundtrack....

I LOVE music. Not making (as my parents and sister can attest after 8 years of saxaphone), but listening. I never was a trend setter, or felt the need to know the most obscure "cool" bands. I still don't! In fact, my own musical interests haven't changed much since my senior year of college when I tended toward "angry chick" and music that reminded me of home.

What has changed a great deal is my listening habits. Where it was never a big deal to listen to Snoop Dogg or Ani DiFranco as I cruised around town or cleaned the house, I now find myself becoming quite the prude about the language that the boys hear in the songs I sing along with in the car. Especially once Max started repeating back some of the lyrics.

So, often I find myself feeling relegated to the world of children's music. For the first couple years of Max's life, I was convinced that meant years of cringing to the cheery-but-annoying strains of The Wiggles and Raffi. I could survive it, but often chose silence over having to listen to "Toot Toot Chugga Chugga" one more time. I missed music.

But I'm writing today because, once again, I am in love with the soundtrack of my current life.

My ipod is still playing lyrically appropriate tunes - but now they are the joyous strains of three fabulous musicians. And because they make my rainy days brighter, I have to share them with you, too. Turns out that there is a whole world of non-annoying music to which my boys and I can sing and dance:

Dan Zanes - I first learned about Dan Zanes from Jessica Sprague's blog. Then I caught one of his songs on the Disney channel, and I fell in love with his goofy, non-creepy attitude. It turns out that his music is just as fun, ranging from classic folk songs to current tunes like "Thrift Shop". Max often asks for Dan Zanes, and he can almost always inspire a dance party. Our favorite CDs are Nighttime, Family Dance and House Party.

Elizabeth Mitchell - Gotta say that I'm not sure where I first learned of Elizabeth Mitchell. May have been over on SouleMama. But what I do know is just how much I am taken with her calm, quiet voice that is both simple and true. Where Zanes is dance party, Mitchell is for lunchtime and moving into nap - or any time my boys need a calming influence. Can't choose a favorite album, any of the three are delightful.

Frances England - This is my most recent. I've only got her first one, but the second is on the way from Amazon right now. Her sound is more indie-rock, but with kid tunes like "Diggin' in the Dirt". Have turned it on even when there are no kids in the room. And a fun fact? Her first album, "Fascinating Creatures" was originally done as a fundraiser for her child's preschool.

One of the greatest things about all three of these artists is the fact that their cds were available at our local library! I was able to check them out without investment, and now support them constantly by giving their cds to new parents I know. SO fun.

SO, check them out! And if you've got any other suggestions for me, I'm all ears - Max has recently fallen in love with Kool and the Gang's Jungle Boogie, and I need a good excuse to turn it off!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A week in the life...

This last week I found myself involved in a great project by the amazing Ali Edwards. On her blog she welcomed/challenged people in joining her in recording a week of our everyday lives. Since I practically worship at her feet, I decided to join in - but that definitely took over the time I would normally give to blogging. So I don't have a whole lot to say today - but thought I'd share a few of my favorite shots from last week.

Disclaimer: no photo editing (which they all need) and a strong overload of Luke - I have been so frustrated with all of my pictures of him lately that I was happy to get a few I even slightly liked.