Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Photo by Mat Hayward/Woodland Park Zoo

My mom forwarded me an article about the baby lion cubs born last November at the Woodland Park Zoo. 

I want to hang this picture on my kids' walls and send them through life with this visual representation of my love for them. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012


So Gabe had these monkey pj's when he was around 1.  I liked them, so I bought another pair in a bigger size.  Now Abby fits into the original pair, and I have monkeys running loose in the house!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In the Picture

Sometimes I think it would just be easier if my posts were just links to other people's posts where they wrote something I agree with.  Here's one:

Allison Tate: The Mom Stays in the Picture

And then, in my post, I could just repeat the phrases from the article that resounded with me when I was reading it.  So it would be like we were reading it together and I was mm-hmm'ing' and oh, totally'ing and ohmygoodness that's so me'ing it while we read.

Like this:

"...I showed up...a bit late and, as usual, slightly askew from trying to dress myself and all my little people....  I felt awkward and tired and rumpled."  (ohmygoodness that's so me)

"When I see myself in pictures, it makes me wince."  (mm-hmm)

"...don't always have time to blow dry our hair, apply make-up, perhaps even bathe..." (oh, totally)

"People, including my children, don't see the way I make sure my kids' favorite stuffed animals are on their beds at night.  They don't know how I walk the grocery store aisles looking for treats that will thrill them for a special day."   (...actually, no need to keep typing, I would be quoting that whole paragraph!) 

This whole article made me sad and wistful.  The thing is, I'm the predominant picture-taker in the family.  I want pictures to remember these years by, pictures to post on the blog (ok peanut gallery, keep your comments about how I haven't been posting that often to yourself please), pictures for the calendars I've been making for the past few years for grandparents.  I want to be in the pictures too, but it feels somehow arrogant to ask someone else to take pictures so I can be in them.  ...Arrogant isn't really the right word; I can't really describe it.  What I want is to not have to be posed, to not feel like I'm putting the responsibility or burden of picture taking on someone else, but ultimately - what I want is for someone else to capture the picture the way I am seeing it, while allowing me to be in it - and oh yeah, make me look good in it too.  ha!

But the end of the article shifts the perspective to the pictures we have of our mothers.  And even though my mom also critiques her appearance in pictures, I only see that it is my mom.  I could care less how she looks in terms of hair/makeup/weight - she is just herself and I am far more interested in who she was and the story behind the picture. 

I see the one of her and my dad in some sort of tram, taken over the heads of a couple of boys (one of whom is my brother) while a baby (me) is being handed off from my dad to my mom.  It reminds me of a few months ago in July, when we went to Snoqualmie to the Day Out with Thomas event, and Gabe was so anxious to see Thomas that he said "I just want to see Thomas" every 15 seconds for the entire 25 minutes we were in line.  (you think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not) 

And while Gabe was excited to see Thomas, we were excited to give him that experience:  to see his face light up when the train started moving, to get him his very own engineer's hat, to take our picture in front of the Thomas engine, to put pennies on the track for Thomas to flatten when he took the next group for their ride.  We don't normally do the "hoards of crowds" thing, so we were also quite proud of ourselves for braving the craziness on a Saturday because we knew Gabe would love it. 

So, I wonder...was the tram outing also a mini-triumph for my parents, getting two young kids out of the house after sorting out timing and naps and snacks for the day, etc?  Was my mom running on her umpteenth consecutive night of 6 hours of broken up sleep?  Before the picture was snapped, had my parents exchanged a look of exasperation that the baby was antsy and didn't want to stay put and had to keep being handed back and forth between parents?  In the picture, my parents are looking at something to the side of the picture taker - my dad in mid-sentence and my mom smiling.  She looks happy.  And I think about how even though the Thomas event was a bit stressful, and we had to wait in that line with a hungry baby and a curious toddler, and it was hot and crowded, I was so happy that we did that for Gabe, and so happy to have my husband and children.  That's what Gabe will see in this picture...not the things I start picking apart about my appearance.

After Abby was born, a photographer came around at the hospital and offered a free newborn photo session (I should have known that the catch was crazy expensive prices for the prints, and that I wouldn't be able to say no to buying them...ah well).  One of the pictures taken embodies for me the sentiments of the article:

I HATE how I look in that picture.  Hate that I had just showered and my hair was wet and stringy, hate my profile, hate my double chin, hate my pale freckly face.  But I LOVE this picture overall.  It looks like I am whispering in Abby's ear.  And she looks like she is listening intently.  For me, this picture is a mother's connection with her daughter, whispering wisdom in her ear - wisdom I don't fully have yet but is mine passed down from generations before and to be discovered as I continue to grow and learn as a mom - wisdom I hope to be able to whisper in her ear and model through my actions and teach through my words for the rest of her life.

So in the spirit of the article, I'm posting this picture that I HATE of me but LOVE of us, and I am inspired to be pesky and hand the camera off more often, asking at least to be in the picture - even if the photographer doesn't have a magic wand to always make me look good in it too!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Movie Night

Tonight was Gabe's first movie theater experience:  Finding Nemo in 3D!

Nemo is one of his current favorite stories (we "get" to tell it to him at bedtime every night lately), but we've purposefully been light on conversation about seeing the movie at the theater because we weren't sure when it would happen and because he's in a stage where everything gets repeated 3,627 times.  So rather than subject us to having to endlessly answer queries about when this blessed event would occur, we kept mostly quiet about it.

When it was decided that tonight would work to go see it, I asked Gabe if he wanted to go meet Daddy at the movie theater and see Nemo, and he then proceeded to say "This going be fun!" about 88 times between home and the theater.  But, it was so cute that I couldn't be too exasperated.  Plus I'm getting really good at responding after about the dozenth time with that vague "mm-hmm" that provides acknowledgement that I heard him but also allows me to multi-task and think about something else.  (that is until he switches things up on me and changes the question/statement, and I hear myself responding in the affirmative when I should be saying far he has not figured out how to work this to his advantage but it's probably only a matter of time until he begins throwing in requests for cookies before dinner, etc.)