Monday, December 31, 2012

Ch-ch-ch Changes....

One of the advantages of leaving home for a few days is that you get to see it with fresh eyes when you come home. After the kids had spent six days sharing a room in Arizona, we decided they are ready to do it full time. This was always my long-term plan. I have fond memories of sharing a room with my brother and the games we used to play at night when we were supposed to be sleeping. One of them involved throwing stuffed animals from the top bunk to the bottom. Another was called "Radio Station" and it involved me singing loudly until my brother yelled "switch" and then I would starting singing a different song. We were always so surprised when our parents came up to see why were still awake. But how did you know? we'd ask.
So, I'm looking forward to a good six years or so of all that. I'm also looking forward to Chris and I moving out of our little cold "temporary" bedroom we've been in for almost three years and into a room that will be warmer, if not any bigger. But first, we had to do some rearranging and purging and cleaning.
We got rid of some rickety old furniture and got a new storage unit to better organize toys.
Unity was a champ in helping put it together.

                                         And...organized! Chris predicts this will last six months.

We decided they are not quite ready for bunk beads yet, so the beds are
side-by-side for now.

                                              Blankets by Grandma Cindy.

Happy New Year y'all.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas part 2

Some more moments from our Christmas extravaganza.
Four generations!

a little frenzy.

                                                       yes, it's the famous American Girl doll. She
                                              has been asking for this for a while and it was her
                                             only present.

                                 Brixton got some fun stuff too.

The table of relatives just goes on and on and on....

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas part 1

We are returned from a lovely Christmas in Arizona. It was my first time having a sunny desert Christmas and I have to say it was fun. We rented a house near where my grandparents live, and had fun exploring the area. It's so completely different from where we live that we really felt transported.
                                                       Everyone pile on Uncle Michael.

We decorated our little tree with paper ornaments.

                                                  Swimming on Christmas Eve- that's a first.

                                                             One of the many roadside cacti.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

the pieces

I know I'm not the only one who feels exhausted by current events. It's been a little difficult for me to pick up the pieces of my regular life. Hard to know what to say that hasn't already been said. Hard to overcome the sense of furious despair.

I do have a thin reed of hope that some of the political things are changing. That finally we can say "enough." Too late of course, far too late, but hopefully soon enough to stop the next massacre.

In the meantime... here are some other pieces of our lives.

Good friends
Vigil to end gun violence.

Unity and I went to this rally at the hearing for a plan to bring coal trains through Washington on their way to China. There were hundreds of people there, nine opponents for every one supporter.

Christmas carousel.

It's Christmas time in the city.....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

24 hours with the band

We love it when Uncle Michael's band come through town on a tour. They always crash with us and Chris or I (this time both!) get to go out and hear them play. It's a whirlwind as they drive in from somewhere and have just an hour or two before sound check and show set-up and then we get the next morning with them before they have to head out to the next stop.

But even with just a bit of time, we make room. For brunch and walks to school, for jam sessions with a real drum kit, and with bongos. For Chris to work the merch table and for both of us to watch the show.

We are always glad to be the Seattle stop on the tour.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Kindie Rock

I've written before about how lucky we are to have such a great kindie music scene here in Seattle. This weekend we got to see a show with a great line-up of all our favorite family bands- Caspar Babypants, Recess Monkey, Board of Education and Unity's current favorite, the Not-Its.
Music has been such a huge part of my life, and Chris's, and one of the things we bonded over when we were first dating. There have been so many bands and artists who filled my days, sang me to sleep, walked me through break-ups and new loves and every change I've ever had to navigate. Just a few bars of certain songs can bring back the exact smell of my friend's car in high school, or the scattered chaos of my dorm room in college.  
I so rarely go to shows anymore. I get up early now and I have less energy for opening bands and standing around bantering while someone tunes their guitar. That's why this kindie gig is the best show in town. We can all go, sit on the floor, dance and sing along, and then go get lunch.
I'm thankful for these musicians that are helping us parents rock out, and helping our kids discover the joys of jumping around to their favorite song.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Silly Snack Monsters

What happens when you get a bunch of 3 year old silly snack monsters together, plus one completely adorable baby brother? Well, lots of mess, lots of giggles, surprisingly few meltdowns and a little bit of mama sanity, aka socializing. Cheers for playdates.
(Photo credits go to Oma. Thanks Oma.)

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

self portrait

This is Unity's self portrait from art class. She gave herself earings and lots of bright colors, of course. That is my girl, full of color and fancy.
One of the big changes that Kindergarten has brought is that there is a bigger piece of her life that is a mystery to me. When she was in preschool I knew who her friends were, I knew how she played with them, I knew her favorite works and I had a pretty good idea of how she interacted with her environment.
Maybe that's coming, with time. I do have an idea of who her friends are ( and I am still instrumental in defining her friendships, a role I am in no way ready to release) and I hear fragments of her days, I see the worksheets and the stories as they come home. But it is clearly true, that there is a big piece of her life that belongs only to her now, a self portrait she has to show me when she comes home. (Or I have to ask and plead to see, as the case may be.)
I know this is what happens. My job is to help her let me go. Not completely of course, and over a long period of time but still. My job is to prepare and nourish the soil where she will inch into her own vibrant tall-stalked self.
It's a good thing no one told me about this part when I was a new mom, holding the small squalling collection of needs that came from my body, that felt like another extension of my body. Or maybe they did tell me and I couldn't hear it, this is an old old story after all. That first mad rush into love, when there are no boundaries between Self and the Beloved, when you become each other. And then, always, the realization of boundaries, of limits, of the edge of limbs and hearts. Learning to say, over and again, "Hello, here I am again" and teaching each other again, how to know, how to love each other.
She's bringing home her self portrait. She's teaching me who she is.