Saturday, March 28, 2009


Overheard during our drive home from a local school carnival today:

Quinn: "When I fart, it's actually my butt trying to say something to me."
Talia: "What did you butt say to you right now?"
Quinn: "It said 'are we going to be home soon?'"
Talia: "Why would it say that?"
Quinn: "Because when I'm sitting on my butt he gets squished and he doesn't like being squished."

Now, I always knew that boys and men have a this hanging private part that women don't have and it often gets a name, an opinion, and a personality all it's own, but I never knew that butts were in that same category. Very very interesting...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy 100 posts to me!

I started my blog last August to figure out if I could write and regardless, push myself to get better and to also have a reason for taking more pictures. I’ve never considered myself a writer, but ever since I was in junior high taking several semesters of beloved photography classes, I’ve always enjoyed being a novice photographer. I still treasure my totally manual Pentax K1000 camera! Just like I used to develop and print my own pictures, it’s uplifting to also cultivate the undiscovered writer in me, challenging myself to accurately express personal observations, struggles, and optimism.

Looking back over these past 99 posts, I’ve realized a lot about myself and chronicled many important events in my life: my children starting school, unexpectedly making new wonderful friends, struggles with sleep deprivation, way too many sick days, lots of soup, me time, local fires, trips, losing my job, parenting struggles, and of course the fun adventures of R2.

Mostly my inspirations come from taking pictures (yea for my little camera that’s always in my purse), interactions with people and places, my children, and being in a mental place where I notice the small stuff that makes life rich. Oh, and my mostly optimistic attitude, but I’ll be the first one to admit that sleep deprivation and being sick makes that more challenging to keep on the sunny side of life. But, no one wants to read about a perpetually cheery person with a perfect life who never has any difficulties, right? My continued goal is to write about both the good and the not-so-good, but always with an optimistic twist which will hopefully not only affect others but keep myself on the right track, too. After all, I’m a firm believer that attitude is one of the few things we can control, but sometimes we need a little help to make that switch in the right direction.

When I think about the biggest rewards of my blog I’m filled with an abundance of warm thoughts. Not only do I love being more inspired than ever to capture beautiful moments in pictures, but I also feel blessed from the amazing support and feedback from my husband, family, friends, and readers. Thank you so very much! Most importantly, I gain the most reward after finishing a post that I feel proud of, especially when I dig deep and find the perfect words to express my thoughts. Even if only a handful of people ever read my blog, that seemingly small sense of personal satisfaction is huge and will hopefully carry me through another 100 posts. My daughter asked me the other day "Why are we in this life?" to which I simply answered "To learn and to have fun". I look forward to finding out where my posts will take me next.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Party like the Irish R2! R2?

R2 was warned multiple times about staying away from the special St. Patrick's Day party punch, but did he listen? Noooooo...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Catchin' some rays, R2?

"Ahhhhh, warm sun and fresh air. This hike is just what I needed to recharge my circuits and gain some new perspective."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring has sprung

I'm in total awe at the abundance of colorful flowers I found after a ten minute photo shoot in my very own yard. With a constant barrage of bad economic news, it instantly lifted my spirits to appreciate all this natural beauty. What's that expression, stop and smell the roses? There is definitely something to that. If I could bottle the magnificent fragrance of my pink jasmine vine in full bloom, I would send it to my friends still bundled up with real winter weather. I hope these pictures make them smile wide instead of cursing me for making them wish for spring even more than they already do. Enjoy!

(ah, the sweet promise of strawberries in the Spring)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Take care, R2

After the emotional highs and lows from his near certain doom and harrowing rescue, R2 finds comfort and warmth in the protective arms of Queen Popoki. Those who depend on R2 will have to be patient and understand that he needs some "me" time to recover from such a traumatic ordeal.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fortune cookie

Last night my wonderful husband brought home my favorite hot and sour soup - a sort of therapeutic aid for my yucky cold. The delicious mixture of spices and hot broth makes my nose run which clears my sinuses, soothes my throat, and always makes me feel better if only for a short while. I had two full bowls just to maximize the full benefits.

When I read my fortune cookie I had my first out loud laugh of the day. Is it a sort of ironic joke or a truthful prediction for my future? After the last few months of being more sick than not, I just have to believe the hopeful message. Humm, maybe a lotto ticket is in my future, too...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

We found you R2!

After an anxious and exhausting nine day search and rescue mission, R2 was finally located after relentless searchers discovered a faint distress signal coming from the Lego cargo bin. Lucky for R2 that the quick and nimble action of the monkeys easily brought him to safety and into the very relieved arms of his beloved friends.

Getting back on track

When I wrote my last post a few days ago, I was beyond sleep deprived and on a speeding bullet train headed for the proverbial wall. As if I wasn't quite tired enough, the following night I took both children to urgent care after Talia's fever spiked to 104.3 and both had especially worrisome coughs. When we got home, I was completely spent, both emotionally and physically. I debated taking them since I'm such a believer in letting your body heal itself, even questioning my choice as we drove there, but I'm so glad I did. A bad flu diagnosis, prescription meds, and $220 later gave me peace of mind and no regrets.

With my coping skills hanging on by a thread, I remind myself that, although my ordeal was difficult, in the total scheme of things it's not that bad. That same day my husband was called to a fatal car crash where the victim was t-boned by a big rig. A co-worker just spent three nights in the hospital with her infant suffering from pneumonia. And, our friend's two teenage children are currently hospitalized from the painful effects of Sickle Cell Disease. Have you read the news lately? Ya, could be much much worse.

Yesterday and today I kept both children home from school for plenty of resting on the couch watching mostly quality tv, homemade soup, and long naps. I got many offers of help and concern and I feel thankful for that. Many well meaning people also urged me to take care of myself, too, but in my exhausted state I was actually a little annoyed at that. How can I take care of myself while I tend to two sick kids? Ridiculous. But, eventually I reached the point where I had nothing left to give. So, I powered off my work computer (which I rarely do during the day), put in a train dvd for Quinn, and curled up on the couch while Talia napped in her bed. I closed my eyes...and...slept...hard. I can't even begin to describe how good this felt. I should've done this much sooner before I got to my ugly place. But, like a typical mom, I was in automatic mode, thinking about everyone but myself: can't rest until they are better, guilty for keeping my kids out of school because it loses money, tell my well meaning callers that I'm fine and don't need anything, etc. This is not a competition for Super Mom of the Year!

All this taught me a good lesson - health and sanity comes first. The kids can miss more than one day of school in a row because they won't kick us out and it's more important that my kids fully recover. When I start feeling sleep deprived I must make time to rest, after all, I have the luxury of being home so I need to take full advantage of that. In fact, a weekly nap will be mandatory on my schedule from now on (aaah, a Wednesday humpday nap is sounding delightful). And, since I loved that people offered help, I need to make sure I do that for others when they are in the same boat. It's the best medicine to know that people care, plus I make really good soup if I say so myself.

What's next? Well, right now I can see the glorious warm sun shining on my beautiful blooming birds of paradise, I'm feeling rather chipper (ignoring the icky feeling in my throat) and more like myself (finally) after a nap and a good night sleep, my kids are on the mend, and I found the m.i.a. R2D2 after an intense search. Hey, it's not winning the state lottery or getting a new job offer, but I'll take it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

My cranky replacement

The normally optimistic and upbeat me is temporarily replaced by the overtired hasn’t-had-a-decent-night-sleep-in-weeks cranky unmotivated teetering on the edge me. A few restless nights, hey, I can deal with it, but after what feels like a month of unsatisfying (and unacceptable) sleep and I’m starting to lose it. I think I've kept up a pretty good front to most people (or so I think), but I can't hold on much longer - I'm just too damn tired.

How do I know I’m lost it? Oh, where do I start. I put the full carton of half-and-half in the cupboard with the coffee cups, which is exactly where my husband found it. I blamed it on the cat. I went to click on my icon to sign in on the computer, and I pushed the off button instead. I specifically went to Target during my lunch break to buy a new R2D2 because I desperately want to take new funny pictures and I’m tired of looking for Quinn’s missing R2D2…but I left Target with only dish soap, hand lotion, and a Kit-Kat bar. And, thinking about that makes me want to cry. How totally pathetic. Not only am I having trouble spelling, but I’m even having trouble thinking of words to type this post…that store with the red round sign? Ummm...ummm...Zzzzzz…

I think back to the first several months of being a new breastfeeding mommy of twins and I don’t know how I did it. Those hungry babies ate at least every two hours and didn’t sleep through the night until around seven months old. I was in a constant state of fog and raw emotions, but somehow we all made it through healthy, still married, and even picked up a few new friends. A total miracle, I say. If I could make it through that ultimate sleep deprivation test, then I can handle this, right? Then why do I feel like such a wimp?

What is the answer to my current state of mind? Turn out the lights and sleep under my desk? Considering I need about 36 hours of uninterrupted sleep, that might not do the trick. I certainly can’t do much about my children’s awful coughing cold that has exasperated my current exhausted state. Even if I ate a ton of turkey for dinner, drank valerian herbal tea, meditated, and went to bed with earplugs at 8:00 p.m., I know there is a good chance I would still toss and turn. It’s like when the kids have a horrible night sleep, no nap, and an early bed-time, I guarantee they will wake up ready to play at 5:00 a.m. – it’s the overtired and wired thing that is hard to shake. Plus, over-thinking it always makes things worse and then it becomes a mental struggle, too.

In the meantime, I’ll be selective about what I say to people (now is not the time to confront any nagging relationship issues) and play loud music during my long and slow commute home to avoid sleeping at the wheel. I must not watch Lost right before I go to bed. Reading is much better for relaxing, only, my eyes are too tired. And, lots and lots of under-eye concealer. Oh, and a box of tissue handy for my unexpected weepy moments that I'm having so many of lately. Where are you R2…I need you!?!?!