Archive for June, 2012

You Know What Confuses Me?

June 25, 2012

This morning I was walking with a friend and along the way we saw what they thought to be asparagus growing along the trail (wild asparagus?). This began a conversation about how things grow and do you know what I am utterly confused by? Onions! Well, onions and garlic.

I understand that you can take a bulb of garlic or an onion, put it in the ground and have it grow into more garlic or another onion. Wait! See, this is what confuses me…you put that in the ground and it sprouts something green that flowers, but if you dig it up, you find…the onion or bulb of garlic that YOU put in the ground. The green stuff that grew isn’t MORE onions or more garlic. So what exactly is it that we’re looking for? Because I’m pretty sure what you find is your same OLD onion or bulb of garlic with a pretty flower at the top.

Ok talented gardeners…explain!

Doing the Dance and Wondering~

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These Kiddos of Mine

June 25, 2012

It’s been a busy weekend!

Yesterday we had a birthday gathering for 3 of the kids-Clayton who had just turned 20, Arianna who is turning 17 on the 28th and Maddi who will be 16 on July 1st. Friends and family filled my house (I LOVE a full house!) and we enjoyed an afternoon of visiting and eating, drinking, playing and even cigar-smoking.


Tristan with Maddi and Clayton


Arianna and Clayton


Every one of our gatherings ends up with a (mostly men’s) smoking circle. Not my thing, but I’m glad they’re all enjoying eachother’s company.


I love it when the “big kids” have fun!

Last night Clayton left to go back to Wyoming. His plan had been to stay out in California for the summer, but it didn’t fall into place the way he had hoped. So we hugged him tight and said our goodbyes.

This afternoon we took Maddi to the airport to head to San Diego for the summer. She’ll be off to the Dominican Republic with a friend for 2 weeks. They’ll be part of a service group and get to do some touring. It will be an amazing trip. Then she’ll take part in some San Diego adventures, including her 2nd year in the Junior Guards program. Tough work on the beach each day, with the ultimate outcome of having the certification of being a lifeguard.


Anna and Gabi weren’t too happy to see her go.

This evening I got my boys back. They’ve been hanging at Dad’s house for the better part of the last week. They settled in by playing a game of Super Checkers (aka King’s Court). I sat and watched and declared that I would play the winner. I was SO surprised to watch Lex play with actual strategy! Max has an actual Genius IQ (really!), so I always expect him to methodically plot things out and woop the pants off of his opponent, in any game that requires planning and strategy. Max is 9. Lex is 6 years old and I watched as he planned out each move and took Max to task. It was amazing! Perhaps I should have Lex’s IQ tested? Ultimately Lex lost because he forgot the rule of keeping 1 piece in the center square at all times (he was VERY upset about the accident), but he was definitely set to win that game!

Now the kiddos are tucked into their beds and the house is quiet. It always feels so good when the beds are filled (or mostly filled).

Tomorrow I embark on another new journey. l’m starting to work from home. Same work. Same clients. But the kiddos need me here during the summer. So I’m in the process of mapping out a plan for the day so that I can have a balance of work and kid-focus. You are free to wish me luck, pray for me, send me good vibes or giggle at my naive undertaking.

Tomorrow I also begin walking in the mornings. 6 solid weeks behind a desk have left me with results I am greatly displeased with and a vastly diminished wardrobe. It’s amazing how much you move around when going about your day and it’s amazing how eliminating that quickly expands your waistline! Ugh!

Wish me luck on it all!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Mommy Hearts Can Get Broken Too

June 20, 2012

When people talk about and think about broken hearts, they are usually talking about relationships. There are countless songs, pieces of poetry, books and movies on the subject. But how often do we look at the love a parent has for a child and talk about broken hearts?

A Mommy heart (or a Daddy heart, for that matter) is completely and totally wrapped up in their child. When your little one is born, the world changes in a million ways and you love in a way that you didn’t even know existed. It stretches your limits of loving and you become a more whole human being. But…that perfect little baby (no matter what numbers we’re talking) grows and grows and changes and becomes their very own person. They go off and see the world (in some of my children’s cases, quite literally). They make choices and get fabulous educations and have experiences that you can’t even imagine (I’m talking about the GOOD experiences). It’s all a part of the process of raising men and women. They GO and they DO and it’s beautiful and the way it’s SUPPOSED to be. But it doesn’t mean you don’t miss them. It doesn’t mean that you have closure.

I’m feeling all of this in a very real way tonight.

Some of you have heard (or read) me gushing about the pride I feel for my oldest son. He brings a balance to my home and a richness that isn’t here when he’s away. His younger brothers glean so much from his example and he does an amazing job of teaching and guiding them. I truly adore him. He came out for the summer from his school, in Wyoming, to work and to visit. The plan was to see him a couple weekends a month and then he’d be back on the road to school. But things haven’t worked out that way and he’s heading back to work for the summer in Wyoming.

You may wonder why I feel the way I do. I’ll give you a little background;

JJ (Clayton to most of the rest of the world) left home at 14 years old. He went away to a Catholic boys’ boarding school in Pennsylvania. It was a decision that came after much consideration and a zillion trials. He had heard of the school through meeting boys and dads that were affiliated with the school, in summertime Father-Son retreats. He was intrigued and thought it would be a good fit. I was against sending my son so far away. But ultimately it became clear that it was the best thing. He left and never looked back. He grew and blossomed into the most amazing young man. He’s become well educate, patient, loving and well traveled. He’s biked through Spain and Italy. He’s worked in France and Portugal. He’s lived humbly in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. All of this and tomorrow will be his 20th birthday! What I’ve realized, as I’ve watched all of his accomplishments, is that I never had any closure. He didn’t follow the natural order of how a child leaves the home. Because of this, I feel unsettled about his being gone. But I AM forever proud!

I was SO looking forward to having him “around” this summer. I LOVE what he give his brothers. I LOVE the love he shows me. I LOVE the man that he has grown into. And now I will miss him again.

My Mommy heart is a broken to find out that , in true “man” form, he had decided to do what is best for himself and is going back to Wyoming to work for the summer.

The love a parent feels for a child (of any age) is not something that you can easily describe. But I feel it, 9 times over, and tonight I’m sad for myself. I’m happy to know that I’ve raised a man, but because I didn’t get him for all of the “normal” years of parenting, I morn the loss.

Tonight I am proud and sad.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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What Summertime Looks Like, So Far

June 17, 2012

We’ve had one full week of summer. It’s been busy, noisy, hot and full! I’m still working full-time, so there’s been plenty of juggling, but this is what it’s looked like so far. I think we’re on the right track.

To get to summer, we had to finish school and that meant Tristan’s graduation from 6th grade. Next year he’ll be in middle school. ~Sigh~

Clayton (JJ) was with us for about a week and he was able to be at Tristan’s ceremony.

Once school was officially over, it was time for SUMMER! There’s been leisurely breakfasts;

Chores;

Flower picking;


We have some really pretty flowers growing in our back yard!

There’s also been Mommy N Me Time;


Lex and I took an hour away to ourselves and enjoyed some spicy appetizers. I love his little face!

There’s also been plenty of time for the boys to challenge each other at chess (I love it when they play chess!)

After work, we’ve grabbed the scooters, bikes and plasma cars and headed out to walk to the park. After a long day behind a desk, I need to get out and move!

And of course, there’s been swimming! Dad has a pool at his apartment, which means they’re swimming whenever they’re there and yesterday I scooped everyone up and we went to a friend’s graduation and birthday celebration at their pool. I have fish children and I love it!

Oh, that reminds me! Kateri (my oldest, who just graduated college), just made me a very happy and proud M.O.M. by letting me know that she is now the assistant Swim/Dive coach at Franciscan University Steubenville! Good Stuff!

So that’s what summer looks like so far. It’s been good! As soon as I’m working part-time, it will be even more full of Good Stuff to share.

Doing the Dance of the Children…In the Summertime~

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Being Lex-Ninjas and Lost Teeth

June 9, 2012

Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a look at life from the perspective of one of the kids. Lex is always a good choice!

Recently, he did a school project and talked about how much he likes soccer and that when he grows up, he wants to be a Ninja. Hmmm…

Just so happens that one of my clients owns a martial arts school-Innovative Martial Arts, and was holding a one day Ninja Camp for kids 6 years old and older. It was too perfect to let pass by without enrolling him!

Off to Ninja Camp he went. One of the moms took a bunch of great pictures. I LOVE the expression of intensity on his lil face! Thank goodness for protective gear!

I hear there’s a one day, Samurai Class coming up. Any samurais-in-the-making out there? Visit the Innovative Martial Arts Facebook Fan page for all info and upcoming events and classes. There’s a lot of Good Stuff going on over there.

My lil Ninja-in-Training soon took another step toward growing up and a few days later, he lost his first tooth! He bit into an apple and the rest was a matter of wiggle and pull. He was a happy boy when the tooth fairy left him a dollar underneath his pillow. He said, “I’m going to eat a WHOLE BUNCH of apples and lose lots of my teeth and then I’m going to the Dollar Store!”.

Looking at the world through the eyes of a 6 year old with Ninja skills is pretty great!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Placer County Tweetup June-La Provence Restaurant & Terrace

June 5, 2012

It’s that time again…

Mark your calendars, grab your business cards and come out to this month’s Placer Business Tweetup!

We’ll be meeting at La Provence, in Roseville on Tuesday, June 12th from 6-8pm.

This is truly a beautiful setting for any gathering. After reading about their successful blending of elegance and comfort and viewing their menu, I headed out to try a few of their offerings.

Their Lemon drop was tart and refreshing. The Salmon Gravlox will definitely be a repeat ordering! I also sampled the Grilled Center Cut Rib Eye…more please! I’ve already put another visit on my calendar so I can enjoy more of the menu. The staff was friendly and setting was relaxed. I can’t wait to have a Sunday available to try their Sunday Brunch. I’m hoping to sit in the sunshine on their beautiful patio.

For the Tweetup, we will be offered a set menu and drink specials will be available.
The Placer Business Tweetup meets once a month (usually on the 3rd Tuesday) at a different, local venue and is THE gathering for meeting like-minded members of our local, business community. Networking in a relaxed and friendly environment, while supporting our local businesses and restaurants is what brings each of these great people back, month after month and is what brings new business owners and entrepreneurs to check out the group.

The Tweetup is a FREE event, but to register, you need to click here and then head over to the Facebook page and add your “like” to the growing community of fans. Then be sure to check out the La Provence Facebook fan page and “like” the page so that you can keep updated on their specials.

Join us this month at La Provence and treat yourself to an evening close to home, that feels worlds away~

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Change the Scenery-A M.O.M. Tip to Relieve Frustration

June 3, 2012

In the time that I’ve been quiet over here, I’ve been learning new ways, and revisiting some old ways (I can foresee a Learning Lessons post brewing) to parent. And one of the things that I’ve practiced (and am learning to revisit) over the 23 years that I’ve been a mom, is to change the scenery.

When things are getting crazy-you have things that MUST get done and your kiddos aren’t cooperating and seem like they’ve been possessed by a demolition team of starved hyenas, scoop them up and GO! You MUST all leave the situation to change it. Take them outside, put them in the car, walk to the park. Whatever it is to remove yourselves from the madness, do it! This doesn’t mean you’re abandoning the tasks you need to get done, it just means that you realize that they won’t get done if the situation doesn’t change.

You’re in change, Mama…so change it.

Taking a little bit of time to help everyone refocus is going to change the situation, improve the behaviors and release the frustration that’s surely mounting in you…and them.

After the amount of time that your need to feel the stress released, explain to them what’s going to happen-You’re going to go back to your task. They are going to read/watch a movie/play in the back yard/have quiet time in their rooms…Whatever it is that you decide. Lay out the plan and then go back to it.

I promise that your frustration will have diminished and that, for at least a little while, you will be able to get your tasks done. But this bit of M.O.M. advice is to be repeated, over and over again as each situation arises.

Good luck Mamas. Through love, support and good tips, we will all make it and have less stress as we go.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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