Month: August 2013 (page 1 of 2)

Don’t lose that lovin’ feelin’

In 1986, I loved Tom Cruise because, you know, Top Gun. I didn’t think it was possible to ever love Tom Cruise more than I loved him then, especially after I just didn’t love him so much anymore and then actually started to feel a bit repulsed by him. Then I watched Rock of Ages during one of my postpartum late-night nursing benders. Then I watched it again and probably thirteen more times. (Not in a row. I took breaks to bathe and eat and parent and stuff.) Say what you want, but I love Tom Cruise again, you guys, as you can see by this graph.

My feelings for Tom Cruise Over Time

And I’ve learned a few things:

1. I cannot resist Tom Cruise when he sings.

2. I pretty much like everyone better when they sing.

3. There is no song more powerful and inspiring than Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. It is a Pied Piper tune and I am a rat. Make it the closing number for your show, movie, root canal – whatever! You’ll win me over, every time.

I know it’s likely that my feelings for Tom Cruise will change going forward. I mean, look at the graph. See what history show us? But, for now, I love Tom Cruise. I’m going to hold on to that feeling.

Dancing Shoes

Julia wore them first. Then Lucy. Now, they belong to Phoebe.

Ballet Shoes

My last little girl wore them to the last first dance class.

I said, “Before we go, let me take your picture, ballerina.”


I had a flash of the teacher directing the students to their mark and Phoebe leveling the place with one of her Looper Screams. I pleaded silently, “Please, please don’t let that happen.”

“Can you give me a smile?”

Phoebe's First Day of Dance Class

“What will you do at dance class?” I asked. They say positive visualization works.

“I turn!”


“I spin!”





“I ‘besque.”


Oh, you guys, did she ever. And the place is still standing.

It’s Tuesday. Tell me something.

This week’s origami creation: a ring.

Week two: Origami ring

They found them in their backpacks on the way to school.

Wearing their origami rings

Last night, I made tuna noodle casserole and forgot to add the tuna.

Today, I’m wondering about bed sheets. How often do you change yours?


check engine light’s on
I have two bills to pay, but
the money for one

the sink is leaking
the grass is getting high, but
the mower’s broken

my heart has no room
for worry just now, because

My boy, Jack

it’s filled up with love

Watching the Wheels

I’ve had a much easier time sending Lucy off to Kindergarten than I did with Julia. I think I understand why. When Julia went off to Kindergarten, it was all so new and she seemed so grown up. As grown up as Lucy may seem now, Julia is, by birth, the trailblazer and always more grown up, so Lucy still seems little in comparison. My theory is that this will result, one day, in the illusion that Lucy has suddenly grown up and I’ve missed it. I figure that’s likely to occur when Julia heads off to college. The good news is, I now have a fairly reliable estimate of when my mid-life crisis will occur, so I can plan for it. Lemons into lemonade! That’s how I do it.

Also how I do it: with bubbles. The “it” I’m talking about is Love and Goodwill. The girls and I have added Blowing Imaginary Love Bubbles to our bedtime routine and I’m feeling good about this. After we turn out the lights, but before we go to sleep, we get out our imaginary bubbles. We dip the bubble wand and blow, filling them with love rather than air. We visualize the bubbles traveling all over visiting people we know and ones we don’t, and popping and exploding love all around. It’s sort of our version of Bless Mommy and Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa…, I guess. The girls like sending bubbles to our family and friends and we even send them to people we’re having a hard time with – especially to the people we’re having a hard time with. It’s been a good exercise for all of us, I think.

Since I’m trying to do things that are good for us, I made kale chips yesterday. I’m not going to say they weren’t good, but I don’t think that the people who have claimed “they taste just like potato chips” have eaten any kind of potato chip I’ve ever had before. I wish I’d tried kale chips without the expectation that they’d taste like potato chips. I think I would have liked them more. We’ve also been making green smoothies and they’ve been a hit with everyone (except Dave who won’t try them because they aren’t basic). This is probably because no one ever suggested they’re “just like ice cream!” They’re not and that’s okay. Smoothie are smoothies. Kale is kale. Potato chips are delicious and irreplaceable. The end.

The one with “MY HEART IS A DRUMMER” on it.

Middle School, Day 2.

Her heart is a drummer.

(This is currently her favorite outfit.)

Our bedtime plan was complete brilliance as we have not only been up at 6 a.m. the past four mornings, we have been happy about it. Oh, I hope these good mornings last! Do you know what Julia was doing at 6:30 this morning while I was making breakfast? Practicing piano. Because, “I like to start my day with music.”

That wasn’t filmed today. And it’s not exactly piano “practice” so much as fooling around. But. My dentist loves to tease me about how many kids I have. “Trying for a baseball team?” he says.

“I’d be happy with a rock band,” I tell him.

And then Julia plays that song and I rub my hands together and chortle because yessss. My dream is totally coming true one day.

Until then, I plan to continue my origami.

You do remember my origami, don’t you? The origami notes I starting making for Julia, like, two years ago? I used to tweet them now and then along with the silly note I wrote on (or in) them. For example, this origami squirrel:

Origami Squirrel

And the note: “Squirrel! We’re both nuts about you!”

Well, I’m doing it for the girls again this year. Not every day. That was crazy. Do you know how complicated origami can get? I’m doing one a week. Here’s week one:

Origami heart notes - first day of school

Notice I didn’t write “Mom” on Julia’s. You know, Middle School.

And the White Stripes sing, “Fall is here. Hear the yell. Back to school. Ring the bell.”

Our resident school district changed their security policy to allow employees to carry guns, and so, my girls started school this year in a new district. We were heading out the door this morning before they even had to be awake last year, but they didn’t seem to mind, in fact, they were pretty damn excited.

First day of school!

What you’re looking at up there is a fourth grader – as in a locker-having, classroom-changing, there’s a policy about public displays of affection in the handbook for goodness sake MIDDLE SCHOOLER! – and da da da dum: a Kindergartener.

My Kindergartener!

She’s walking like it’s 1986 (i.e. an Egyptian).

Now, you might think it’s a giant pain in the ass to open enroll your kids in another school district and you would be right. But if you were me, you’d also be so very, very thankful. You guys, I am loving so much about these new schools. And Julia’s locker number is the same as her softball number, which we believe proves this is where they are Meant To Be.

Since I’m also a new face at these schools, I decided to make each of the girls’ teachers a little gift so they’d know I’m super-friendly and helpful and maybe a little awesome.

Teacher gifts

(That’s some hand sanitizer with a custom label. I found the free printable tag over at Skip to My Lou.)

I took the gifts to the girls’ open houses, which were crazy busy, so I was glad to have made a great leave-behind item.

Speaking of left behind, here are the two that are stuck with me now.

My babies!

That photo was taken right before the dance party they’re now sleeping off.

Folks, it’s going to be a good year.

We go dancing nightly in the attic while the moon is rising in the sky*

If there’s anything I taught my kids this summer it’s that Alice Cooper was a band first and then a person, and the band years are really when the best music was made. To support this I submit the following:

1. School’s Out (obviously)
2. Be My Lover
3. Teenage Lament ’74
4. Billion Dollar Babies* (last on the list, but definitely not least)

You could disagree, but I will not accept it, ever.

So, this is happening.

Back to School Bedtime Plan



We picked the first pumpkin from our garden this year. It’s roughly the size of a well-fed five-month-old boy.

Jack and the pumpkin

The girls are quite proud of this. They’ve had a great time helping grandpa with the garden.

This afternoon, the pumpkin will be canned, and on Thanksgiving, eaten in pie.

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