Monthly Archives: August 2011

Summer Days drifting away

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Yesterday I was wearing a new yellow shirt that I scored at a garage sale this weekend and was thinking it looked really great with my blue toes.  I don’t normally go blue when it comes to painting my nails, but I thought I would do something different, something fun.  The yellow shirt felt so summery, especially with my linen skirt and I was just reflecting on how much I LOVE summer.  I love the longer days, the movies and concerts in the park, the beach, the pool, and most of all having a Brian home to enjoy all of this stuff with us.  In a recent post I wrote that I sometimes wish for more money, but instead I get my husband home 13 weeks a year.  Not a bad trade I must admit (except in my moments of want).

summer toes for summer clothes

That was yesterday.

Today, reality has sunk in.  I am not even going back to work, but tonight I am feeling the effects of the beginning of another school year.  Last year at this time things were so new.  We were just coming away from our stint in Europe, moving to a new city, Brian was starting a new job, and I had a new baby.  How quickly things become normal.  And so tonight as I was packing a lunch, because the girls and I are going on our biggest girl adventure yet, San Diego Wild Animal Park, and Brian is going back to work.  I have mixed emotions about the whole thing, just as I used to at the start of every new school year as a child.  Excited to meet the new teacher and wear my new clothes, but that all wears off way too quickly.  These days I am excited to get back to my routines like going to the library, meeting up with my friends and making it to the farmer’s market on a regular basis.  I hope the excitement doesn’t wear off as quickly as a new school wardrobe that’s all I have to say.

Speaking of wardrobes, I took a picture of Piper in her “teenager” dress that I described in the post, Yesterday.  While the picture might look a bit provocative, she is really just too lazy to stand up to take a picture.

Tatum is creating her own style too at the moment.  As we were heading out the door to the beach I asked Piper to grab a hat.  Tatum grabbed a hat too.  If only you could see the one pig tail that was sticking out.  Too cute.

Our Little Homegirl

So how did we spend our last day of summer?  We slept in, went on a walk and ended up at a new place for breakfast.  We lounged around the house, which was great because I was able to finish the book, The Hunger Games.  A really good book, but the only problem is that it is the first in a trilogy.  I tend to tune everyone out in the evenings and get little work done during nap time when I am reading a good book.  So I am going to wait a week, at least, until I start the next.  Lastly, we packed up the little bbq and headed to the back bay for a dinner in the outdoors.  One of our favorite places.  So long summer days!  Wish me luck on tomorrow’s big adventure!

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Sometimes

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Sometimes I wish I made my own income.  Sometimes I wish I could go spend that money that I made on some new clothes.  And if I found some good deals and cute things and it cost $150, then so be it.  Sometimes I wish I had more occasions to dress up, but with that said, I am also glad that flip flops are acceptable footwear for a stay-at-home mom.  Sometimes I wish my compliments came from my boss and not my toddler.  Sometimes I wish that I could read a book or take a bath without interruptions.  Sometimes I fall victim to the belief that a little more money could solve the problem.

Sometimes.

But then, when I peak on the kiddos sleeping in their beds, I know that the sacrifice is worth it.  This is a season of my life and there will be a day not too far away when I will be wishing there was noise in the house and it will be gone.  Perhaps there will even be a day when I can go to the store and buy whatever my little heart desires!  Until then I must not only accept, but relish, that I get paid in hugs and kisses and that my 4 year old thinks I am beautiful no matter what I wear.

No matter what.

Yesterday

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Today my 4 year old daughter put on a very stylish new dress from her Nana, a racer-back teal tank with a wide black elastic belted waist and layered blue leopard print on bottom.  For a moment, I felt like I could picture her as a teenager ready to go out with her friends and leave her Mom and Dad behind.  And while I am so grateful that I have years ahead of me before that day comes, I can’t believe that time seems to fly by in so many ways.  Wasn’t it just yesterday that I had a home and a life and a daily routine in Germany?  And not more than a week ago that our family consisted of me, Brian and our dog, Biltmore.  And college, 9 years ago I graduated???  IMPOSSIBLE!  It wasn’t that long ago that it was me leaving the house in the most trendiest of fashions to hang out with my friends.  I can remember going on my first real date with a boy, who drove! (We saw When a Man Loves a Woman at the dollar theaters :), funny.)  Hard to believe that I am closer in years to experiencing that with my own daughter than I am to my own experience!

My Great Grandma Sullivan was very special to me.  She called me majom, which means monkey in Hungarian and I would respond, “I am not a majom, I am a jo lany”.  Which means good girl, or so I think.  She didn’t really remember very much Hungarian, but after always calling me majom, I started looking things up in her English-Hungarian dictionary.  I remember so clearly being at her house and I must have commented on how she was getting old.  She told me that she didn’t feel like she was old.  I said, “Grandma, how old do you feel?”  And she responded, “Well, I feel the same as you.”  “WHAT?  Grandma, I’m 24!  You can’t feel 24, you don’t even like to drive the freeways and you need to take the cart in the store so that you have something to hold onto.  You are in your late 80’s, you can’t feel my age.”  I just recently shared this story with someone, and I can finally understand a little of what my grandma felt.  Her 20’s felt like yesterday.  It was yesterday that she was raising her kids and working at the beauty shop.  I am always thinking about the grandmas in my life when I see kids and am amazed by how much they have grown.  I felt like as a kid that was just the thing grandparents said, “My how you’ve grown!”  It was equivalent to “How are you?”, but now I am sure that they really truly meant it.  My four year old impresses me all the time with how big she has gotten.  I sometimes feel like she doesn’t even need me!  If it weren’t for the food on the table and the roof over her head that we provide, I am pretty sure she could handle life (or at least thinks she could) on her own.  And Tatum!  She has now entered toddlerhood, I guess.  I don’t know if there is an exact age for that sort of thing, but last year as we were camping around Europe, she was a tiny babe who slept in a stroller bassinet.

It is tough to remember in those moments of anger and frustration when those little children, who are so lovingly called “blessings” seem more like a migraine than a blessing, a pain that just don’t go away.  It is tough to remember that this season is short.  Soon enough they are in school and soon after that they don’t want to hang out with the family.  And so, I am trying to embrace them even as they are testing us and seeing how they can claim their independence in this big thing called, life.  Trying to see this as an opportunity to shape then and engage with them on their journey instead of counting the days until this phase ends.  Each phase is welcomed by a new one and each phase has it’s pluses and minuses.  You are so happy when your little one is out of diapers, but it just means that you have also phased out rocking your baby to sleep in your arms.  The memories I have of my childhood are memories of me playing and having a carefree life.  I want to my kids to have those same kinds of memories and I want to be part of them.  I don’t want to be too busy because the clock is ticking and soon enough the toy kitchen and doll house are going to be replaced with headphones and iPads.  And I will be thinking to myself that it was just yesterday that the girls were playing dolls in here.

Piper's Great GREAT Grandma Sullivan

 

Puppy Love and Wanderlust

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We have a sleeping babe and a strap in Pi's face in our only family picture from the trip.

The Ristows have returned from our camping holiday.  We had so much fun camping with our friends up at Twin Lakes which is above Mammoth.  The best part about it was the fact that we got to relax and hang out and have nothing on our agenda.  We pulled up on Friday and never got back in our car until we left on Thursday.  I love that.  I love when I don’t have to drag the kids here and there.  I love that Tatum and Brian took 20 minutes to walk to our friends’ site 200 feet away because Tatum was throwing rocks into puddles the whole way.  I love that we got to see blue jays, chipmunks, squirrels, bears and deer everyday.  I love that we got to have nightly campfires and make s’mores.  I love that we fell asleep to the sound of the raging waterfall every night.  Fun times and good memories.

The campsite was gorgeous and it was so nice to be in nature.  Piper went fishing for the first time which she was very excited about.  She and her friend Ruby, were manhandling these dead fish like rag dolls.  In fact, that is exactly what they were doing, playing dolls.  The fish had names and were their babies…until they were gutted and filleted.  Don’t worry, it was not a traumatic event for either of the girls.  Piper is the child who picks out whole fish at the market and asks every time if she can eat the eyeball.  On the weekend, they had live music and the kids danced and played on the grass while we drank wine and listened to good ol’ country music.  The singer, Bob Gulley, was a dude you would expect to see riding a Harley.  He had the long beard down to his belly button and a bandana on his head.  But still somehow, listening to him sing, Kenny Roger’s The Gambler, put a tear in my eye.  I can’t hear that song without remembering my dad, and just the whole atmosphere of the lake and campground reminded me of the types of vacations we took as a kid.  Perhaps we even went to Twin Lakes when I was little.  A dude with a massive beard and a Kenny Rogers song doesn’t that just bring a tear to your eye too?  Really, I hope not, but you would have to have known my dad.  He doesn’t fit the mold.  Anyway, it was great to be there and to see the girls just get to enjoy being kids.

I almost forgot to share something exciting that happened.  On our third night there we were awoken by the neighbors banging some pots and pans.  I figured it was to scare away the bears.  I am guessing it worked, because they shooed them out of their site right into ours.  We watched from the safety of our van as the mama bear ate everything in our cooler and fed her 2 cubs butter and cheese.  I was bummed out about losing our food, but I had never seen anything like that.  Pretty cool.

Looking at Yosemite Falls from a bridge

We left Twin Lakes and drove through Yosemite on our way to visit some other friends who live just outside of the park.  We got to see some amazing waterfalls in Yosemite and stayed up too late reminiscing about college and eating popcorn with our friends.  Their six-year-old told Piper the morning we were leaving, “You are going to be sad when you leave.”  And Piper said, “No I am not, because we are getting our puppy!”

Decked out in our Boston attire for Frankie's arrival

And so the ride home really was just something else to look forward to.  We picked up little Frankie (short for Frankfurt) and he is just such a little roly poly.  He looks like Biltmore, which may sound weird, but honestly, I don’t think all Boston’s look alike, but I see Biltmore in his profile.  Do I sound crazy?  I probably sound the crazy dog lady right about now.  He has been so much fun, and a lot of work too.  He wants to bite and chews on anything and everything, so I have to be watching carefully when  I have him running around the house.  But I know that this phase is short, so I am just trying to enjoy the cute little ball that fits in my hands because I know it won’t last long.