Saturday, April 26

Singin' Grandpa

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"Rachel, what was your favorite part of the day?"

"Grandpa."

"Grandpa? What did you like about Grandpa?"

"He taught me a song!! A song about FROGS!!!"

video

Aren't Grandpas great!

**

Friday, April 25

Her First Crush

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A simple little chat through a chain link fence. Alex and her first crush, seven year-old Clark who's sister goes to her preschool.

I'm gonna miss that fence in about 10 years. Maybe sooner.
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Wednesday, April 23

Dinner Conversation

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A: "Mommy I want to tell you about my friends. They're invisible."

M: "Invisible?"

A: "Yeah. They're bears and they only come at night after everyone's asleep and only I can see them. No one else. Just me because their my secret friends."

R: "Do they roar like bears?"

A: "No. They're really quiet, almost like owls. They go in the garage and hunt mice, because that's what I tell them to do and they never come out when people are awake. Just me."

R: "I want to tell you about my invisible friends too. My invisible friends are tigers."

A: "YIKES!"

R: "No. Their quiet."

D: "Do they protect you?"

R: "No. They come in and dress themselves."

M: "In what?"

A: "Dresses and skirts."

**

Monday, April 14

By 9AM I gave up...

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You know it's a bad day if, by 9 am, you're ready to give up, go back to bed and start over tomorrow. And that's just the sort of day I had.

The day went astray with a lot of little things, and a set of lost keys and this…

and this...
Oh. Yes. She did—clip, clip, clip.
And no, this wasn't the first time,
or even the second time.
Apparently she wants to be a stylist.

And, we found out after getting home this evening, that Alex played a little snip, snip game with her hair too. A little less obvious, but still, not good. Needless to say, we handed out a few 'consequences' at the Hart house today.
**

Friday, April 11

Conversing with Ray

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“Mommy?”

“Yes?”

“Babies are in your belly so they don’t get lost.”

“So they don’t get lost?”

“Yep, so they don't get lost and when they’re in the tummy we don’t eat because the babies get scared.”

“Scared of what?”

“Of all the food that people swallow.”

“And what does the mommy do if she gets hungry?”

“They don’t eat because the baby gets scared and they don’t get hungry. When the baby is born we feed him and the mommy can eat too.”

“Hmm. How do babies get in the tummy, Rachel?”

“No problem.”

“What? How do they get in the tummy?”

“No problem.”

“Do they start in the belly?”

“Yep.”

“How do they get out?”

“They just push on the belly?”

“Who pushes on the belly, sweetie? The doctor?”

“The baby pushes on the tummy because he wants to get out.”

“Why?”

“The baby doesn’t like being in the tummy.”

“Why not?

“Because they want to be big girls.”

“They want to get out so they can be big girls?”

“Yeah, and they’re hungry.”

**

Thursday, April 10

Ambivalence

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Ambivalence

So what do you do when your in a game of tug of war and you're not only the rope, but also the one tugging at both ends?
  • WOW! There is soo much opportunity out there to really dig in and grow my career.
  • WOW! I could decide tomorrow to stay home and raise my two incredible kids.
  • WOW! Agency life is somewhere, out there...
  • WOW! My girls are growing so fast. I sooo want to spend more time with them, experiencing and discovering the world.
  • WOW! In my current position I could...
  • WOW! Alex has been asked over for 'movie night' and can right an exact mirror image of Rachel's name - look at what I'm missing.
  • WOW! I could do this..., I could do that..., I could change direction a bit and focus here..., I could re-focus..., I could....,
OMG!! LIfe is sooo full of interesting choices. To work or not to work, to plow forward or lay back.

All of this is swarming around in my head, circling one word: Balance. It's so very cliché - something every one says they're looking for. But the choices we make determine how close we come to ever reaching anything even resembling 'balance.'

It does seem, at least in the short (mid?) run, that work will be a part of my picture. What I'm currently struggling with is how big a part it will be.

Money is a part of the equation, but not all of it. Doing something that makes a difference and contributes to the overall organization in a strategic, meaningful way—doing something that challenges and stimulates—is key. Now combine those two elements—money and job satisfaction—with the rest of the picture: great co-workers (got that), reasonable hours (got that, though I'd rather be part time and/or telecommuting), growth potential and a commute that is less than 30 minutes; and you've described my perfect job.

Not so unique...,

**

Tuesday, April 8

One of Those Days

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How does it happen? Why does it happen? Does every child and pup have a little alter ego (we'll call lil’ satan) just waiting to get out? Just waiting for the briefest of lapses to escape and wreck havoc?

The first crisis of the night—killing the dog—was narrowly averted because we thought that a bloody canine carcas would scare the children. Oh yes, we were ready to kill that little four-legged monster after finding that Ziggy had climbed up on the DINING room table to 'mark' his territory while we were at work/school. UGH! (Death? No. Relocation? Very likely.)

We recovered surprisingly quickly. But, seriously, what the hell happened to this day? First the dog and then the girls...,

One minute the girls are painting Daddy's finger nails (oh - we'll get back that in a minute) and dancing to the Wiggles sound track with Mommy, and the next they simply lost their little minds w/ shrieks of emotional agony at having to go to bed.

What the ....? This is not our typical evening and you'd think they'd have learned that this does not fly with mommy. "Fussing doesn't change anything - good night girls." Door closes, shrieking continues for about 3 minutes and, finally, silence. ahhh.

But now, at the end of the evening, after a urine soaked dinner table, and two preschooler-sized meltdowns, Dave and I are DONE!

This photo is the only saving grace. Little Ray painting Daddy's nails. Don't you just have to smile? Gotta love him. And Daddy definitely loves his girls.

Gotta love that man.


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Saturday, April 5

Tidbits o' Kidlets

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hmmm. I hear singing...

"Yeah, ye-ah!
I'm a goo-ood girl and I lo-ove my-I job!
Yeah, ye-ah"

(music and lyrics by Alex Hart while going potty)

**

We're laughing out loud after suddenly realizing the irony of allowing our kids to consume fried fish, a corn dog and french fries for dinner - while simultaneously freaking out about Rachel opening a packet of artificial sugar as a side dish.

(an example of awesome parenting if ever there was one)

**

Blink, blurry-eyed blink - as my body was bolted awake with the sound of our three year-old shrieking in our bedroom doorway at 4:00 a.m. My mind was a little slower. I launched out of bed before I was fully awake, scooped her up and carried her back to bed. Still no idea of what was wrong.

Dave, apparently more awake than I was, translated the screeching, "She's had a bad dream. She thinks Alex disappeared down the toilet."

Ah. OK. "Sweetie, it's OK. Alex is fine. She's asleep in her bed." (Amazingly this was true - that girl can sleep through ANYTHING!)

"NO! She's gone. She went down the toilet," Ray-ray whimpered.

"Honey. No. I promise. She's OK. She's asleep in her bed."

"We need a new sister."

And, problem solved, Rachel quickly dosed off to sleep - with no memory of the entire incident. Dave, true to his laid back style, was also sound asleep again.

Meanwhile, blink, blink. I stared at the ceiling, still a bit jolted w/ no sign of sleep in my near future.

**

Time Away

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Four days away and there is no sign of any psychological trauma or that therapy is needed. We all survived. 'Thrived' in fact. Mommy with a little help from a friend and social lubricants (Mama loves her Vodka Mojitos. YUM. Good times.) And the girls made it through with a little help from Daddy.

It's all good and I'm glad to be home. The worst part, of course, was the last 2 1/2 hours, as the gods conspired to delay my arrival home. Misplaced luggage, a delayed parking shuttle van, and a bizarre little traffic jam; all made worse by my anticipation of getting home.

When I finally arrived, I found two of the most excited little girls that I've EVER seen. (Thanks daddy for going along, letting them stay up late and playing it up with them. I'll make sure you get a better reception the next time you arrive home from trip.)

They 'hid' from me when I walked in the door and then jumped out and screamed and giggled, "SURPRISE!!!" They were so proud of themselves for 'tricking' me and sooo excited that they were about to explode. Seriously, had they smiled any harder their little faces would have cracked. WOW - did I feel loved. (Thanks again Daddy - You really are the best!!)

We played, giggled, rolled around on the floor giving kisses and hugs. They each got a new doll and a few other goodies. (I know. Not a good precedent, but Daddy said they had been so good and this was their reward. At least that's how I rationalized it. No. These were not a guilt gifts. No. These were not "just because I left doesn't mean I don't love you or that my job is more important" gifts. Nope. These were "you were so good for daddy, here's your special treat" gifts. Rationalization, when done well, is such a good thing.)

A few stories, more hugs and kisses, and they were off to bed.

Life is good with two little girls (and their wonderful daddy) to love.

**

Friday, April 4

School Pics - Pretty in Pink

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NOTE: If the photos aren't visible, click on the arrow (>) in the lower left hand corner of the image below and the pics will begin to scroll.




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