Wednesday, August 20

Day 2: Our New Reality


Day two was rough. The build-up, excitement and photos were gone. The reality that this was it, for the next 12 years and beyond, the girls will have another life.

From today forward, Dave and I will be on the periphery. No longer the center of their world. No longer will we have full knowledge of what goes on in their lives - just bits of what they tell us after hours outside of our protective reach.

I dropped Alex at kindergarten and Rachel at preschool with the usual hugs, kisses and smiles. I returned to my car, tears welling up in my eyes.

My two little caterpillars have left their cocoons.


Tuesday, August 19

There she goes...

The first day of kindergarten went off without a hitch. No tears, no whining or clinging - all smiles and excitement. But enough about me, Alex did great too!

We arrived early, camera in hand, and walked Alex onto school grounds.

She found her friends and off she went - whoo hoo! Play time!! Her first experience with recess was a BIG success, and Momma was reassured that she'd survive - at least that 1st day.

We took the obligatory 1st day pictures, cheered her on, kisses and hugs all around...,

and away she went, her 1st day of school...,

My little-big girl. Confident and strong.

A proud, happy sigh - heavy with nostalgia.

How did this happen? How did we get here soooo quickly, and how do I slow down the clock?


Monday, August 18

Mommy and Daddy Go To School


The night before Alex started kindergarten, Dave and I went to our first teacher/parent conference. A bit intimidating in that we had no idea what to expect, and, on some level, doubted our ability and/or knowledge about "what's best" when it comes to educating our children.

Looking around the room it was easy to pick out the first time parents—all so eager, sitting up straight, paying attention, punctuating the discussions with nervous laughter.

The veterans were all much more easy going—almost smug (ok—not true. I'm just envious at their apparent confidence that this will all work out and that our kids will survive and thrive).

We began to relax a bit as Miss Frobie explained her approach to teaching and the unique details of the kindergarten/1st grade combo class. That is until she put up the daily schedule—"that's too much, she's only five! She's my baby. And my baby is growing up—growing up beautiful." I was oozing with love and pride, and a little apprehension, for my little-big girl.

I turned around and looked at my husband. His eyes were moist and red, he was getting all choked up listening as the principal and kindergarten teacher laid out the schedule and the program for the coming year.

So proud, he was beaming.

God, I LOVE that man!

As much as I love my girls, I know he matches that bond in a visceral way and they are so blessed to have such a great daddy.

I 've heard that the most important relationship that a young girl can have is with her Daddy. If this is true—my girls are all set to rock the world.



Saturday, August 16

Interested in a Midnight Show...?


A sweet little chirp...,

"Mommy? Can I get up now?"


"Can I get up now?"

I roll over, feeling amazingly tired. Morning already? Looking at the clock I see it's 44 minutes after the hour. Hmmph. One minute early - I guess I can give it to them.

"Okay sweetie, let's go." I put my head into their bedroom and call, "Alex, do you want to come watch TV with Rachel?"

"No, I'll wait till I get up."

That's odd, I think. But, okay. And I stumble down the hall with Rachel, soooo tired, turn on the TV and turn around to find that Alex has changed her mind about watching TV. She sits down with Rachel, as I stumble back to bed hoping to hit the snooze button for 10 more minutes of blissful sleep before facing the day.

Looking at the digital alarm clock, I see that it reads 1:47. Weird. It should read 5:47.

Still groggy, I guess the power must have gone out last night. I turn to the other night stand and it reads the same time. Weird.

Still not cluing in, I reason that of course both clocks would be wrong if the power had gone out.

UH? Wait.

And then, as the fog slowly lifts, I figure it out.

If the power had gone out the clocks would be flashing 12:00 and this second clock is one of those atomic clocks that set's itself. Wait.

And it hits me! It's actually 1:47 IN THE MORNING!! WHAT??

Out again to the living room to round up the girls. Who, because just three minutes ago mommy said they could watch television, are now upset and fussing (never pleasant - but horrendous at 1:47 a.m.).

Back to bed I lead them as I explain that the middle of the night is not time to get up, not TV time, and that mommy was very confused and STILL ASLEEP. It's not nice to confuse mommy.

And back to my pillow, laughing at myself all the while. Ahhhh -- and I have hours of peaceful sleep before my alarm goes off, as scheduled, at 5:45 a.m.


Friday, August 15

An Appreciation of Minutia


Time is flying and my obsessions continue (children, hubby, new kitchen...,) but as time flies by I think I'm missing some of the minutia—the wonderful, funny, quirky little things that make life sooo rich.

Hmmm - not sure if I'm really missing them as much as I have so little time to write about them and then they become lost in the overall swirl of our busy, multi-dimensional lives.

Things like my Dad's visit to the girls' preschool several weeks ago. It was one of the cutest moments that I've ever witnessed involving my dad.

Visiting from Tuscon, he came with me to pick the girls up from school and was greeted with squeals and giggles as they jumped into his arms. All the preschoolers gathered round the day's celebrity—GRANDPA—as Alex announced, "He doesn't have any hair!"

This was followed by a serious discussion between my dad, the retired marine, and several 4 & 5 year olds about whether or not what is left on his head really counts as hair. It was all very serious and logical (READ: hysterically funny). Then Grandpa reached up to his head and touched his scalp. "OH, NO! Your right! I DON'T have any hair!! It was here this morning. Where did it go?"

An explosion of giggles and more hugs, as Alex and Rachel continued to show off their Grandpa to all of their friends.

Having kids has been so rewarding in so many ways. But what I never really expected was this new relationship with my dad that has evolved over the past several years. There is a side of him that I'd never experienced (and it's likely he'd say the same of me).

Somehow, being a mom has given me a dad.

Who knew?


Thursday, August 14

A Tribute to the Man I Love...,


...and who loves me. Even when I'm not acting all that lovable, he still loves me. Never wavering, never doubting - he always loves me and I feel safe. Safe enough to be who I am without fear that he'll leave or that his love will change. There is nothing better than knowing, trusting and loving this man.

Everyday that passes I am amazed that I get to spend the rest of my life with him. He brings out the best in me and helps to curb the worst.

Everyone says I'm spoiled. It's true and it's a wonderful thing. I do my best to make sure he feels as spoiled and as loved as I do.

Happy Anniversary, Dave. I love you.


Wednesday, August 13

Dancing in the Rain

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health.

He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, 'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'

I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, 'That is the kind of love I want in my life.' True love is neither physical, nor romantic.

True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

Fiction? Yes. But a beautiful story….,

Tuesday, August 12

Unintended Consequences...,

Just seconds before Alex is doused with water...,

And she had no idea.

Tuesday, August 5

Pay Attention


Alex: "OK, Rachel. When we get home, I'll feed Tink and you give her water."

Rachel: "NO! I'll give her water and YOU feed her!"

Alex: "MMOOOMMM!! I said I wanted to feed her!

Dad, very calmly: "Girls. If you're going to argue, at least pay attention."

I almost had to pull the car over I was laughing so hard.


Sunday, August 3

Let's try again...,

OK - Ziggy didn't quite work out. I'll skip the stories of the digging under the fence, chewing on everything and anything, bolting out anytime the front door was open, and peeing on the dining room table, and just say that after six months and several individual visits with a professional trainer, Ziggy was returned to Helen Woodward's Animal Shelter.

As hard as we tried, there wasn't anything we could do for Little Ziggy, and now we simply refer to him as "That damn little dog" each time we find yet another thing that he destroyed around the house.

Today, we brought home another little addition to the family. Smaller than Ziggy, easier to contain and less likely to create as much havoc on the household.

Meet "Tink."

She is a one-year old Cavie (Guinea Pig) from a local rescue. She is as sweet as can be and the girls love her.

Now if we can just keep Ollie from viewing our newest family member as a snack, this will work out great...,