Sunday, July 20, 2008

Like a Kid on Christmas Eve...


How would like an all inclusive, one week stay at a luxurious mountain retreat?

We provide:
Spacious, open-aired DIRT for your sleep and relaxation!
All you can eat meals of dehydrated beef stew and plain peanut butter tortillas!
Complimentary single change of underwear!
Limitless mosquito bites!

But you have to act NOW!! Book today and you can join our spa/exercise course absolutely FREE! Exercise will include walking in the +98 degree weather with a fifty pound pack over 50 miles! And you got that ONE change of underwear!!!

If I didn't know any better I'd check that vacation bus for schwazticas before boarding. I'd also advise any possible customers to forgo the "We'll also mail your belongings, and your hair, back to you shortly after arrival at your destination!" option.

And yet, crazy as it may seem, tons of our finest boys and men...including my husband, anxiously await this "Boy Scout High Adventure" hike with the anticipation of the after Christmas clearance sales at Nordstroms.

My cute husband keeps meandering up and down our hallways with his "backpack" strapped to his back, just to check one more time that it still fits:

ME : "Tyler, geez louise, why are you still wearing that backpack? You can't seriously be this excited to go hiking... it's like one notch above running on a treadmill."

TYLER: "Rae, you have to be prepared. You could, like, die if you aren't prepared."

ME: "Spoken in true Boy Scout Motto fashion, dear. Well said. However, you are hiking AROUND Lake Tahoe, so I'm gonna go out on a crazy limb and suggest that if starvation or being lost threatens your survival, you can just head down towards the beach and I'll be glad to share some of the girls' Cheetos and bagel sandwiches with you."

Later, I catch him grinning...seriously GRINNING... by himself... as he stares at the map tracing out the hike. Aye yei yei. Men.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I'm sure someone has looked at you before, in a moment when you are in a semi-comatose gaze, and asked, "What are you thinking about?"

Half the time, you probably answer, "Nothing."
But we all know, or at least HOPE, that that cannot possibly be true.
The truth is that you probably don't care to share. I know I don't. My thoughts can be so random and meaningless or embarrassingly revealing about my ridiculous inner cerebral sanctuary that a simple, "Oh nothing." saves us all the trouble of a stupid conversation.
But, since my thoughts have been nothing but random and meaningless and probably embarrassing this past week I have no choice but to jot in them in this little cyberjournal of mine.

My randoms....

I seriously think Joy Bayheart on ABC's The View is such a deviously unfunny comedian with the lamest hidden liberal agenda. And Whoopee is such a classic bra-less hippie. I really like her but wouldn't be surprised if she reeked of B.O. And Barbara Walters number one fan in the universe is Barbara Walters. Could she plug herself anymore in a 2 minute time span...seriously!? Elizabeth is cute, but for gosh darn sakes Elizabeth, I wish you could articulate your perfectly rational argument without sounding like such a dippy girl sometimes. There is nothing wrong or shameful or dippy about being the only member of the cast with a solid marriage record and two beautiful children. You are not the stupid one, my friend, and yet the cast makes it seem like you are.

Vacuuming is becoming a borderline obsessive compulsive disorder with me. I can't get over the addiction to those clean-looking, straight lines in my carpet.

I owe $4.99 to Taste of Home (cooking magazine I have a subscription to...since I was like 13...sad, I know) and am refusing to pay. Credit score be damned. When they say they are offering a FREE COOKBOOK!, so I check the little box on the subscription card, and then receive an invoice for $4.99 I am angry at the deception of their most loyal subscriber. Even if it's only a measly $4.99. I don't care if I didn't read the fine print. What happened to straight forward honesty? Especially from a magazine that still showcases kitchens decorated in wooden, tole-painted cows?! Jesus better be coming soon.

I still have monthly fantasies about what it would be like to be a medieval princess. This is a step up from the daily ones I lived in as a child...but I still can't shake the desire to wear long velvet dresses and ride a horse in the rain. Even if my long, raven hair would be greasy.

I think I have a firm grasp on my self esteem and worth as a mother, my body is a mecca of life. Yeah, right...I tried telling myself that as I walked towards the water with Lily on Saturday at the beach, in my swimsuit, knowing full well that Tyler was probably staring at my lumpy behind while sitting in his beach chair. Gross. Even more gross, I think he still likes it. Eewww.

I hate that I wake up in the night around 3am feeling strangely eery and scared. Is there some deficiency in my oxytocin or seratonin levels at that hour that I should be aware of? Because that would really help me as I consistently map out an escape route for my children and attack plan for the perpetrator that is thankfully never actually at my window.

If there ever were a perpetrator at my window, I think he/she would be pretty darn surprised at the hell I could unleash. Don't let the blonde bob fool you. I am a lean, mean, freaky killing machine if anyone tried to touch my babies. There would be nothing sexy or Angelina-Jolie-with-a-handgun about it....we're talking a raving blonde beastly lunatic shrieking like a banchee as she blows your head off with a 22.
(*Insertion after Tyler read this entire post:
"Hey Rae, I don't think a 22 would actually blow someone's head off."
Me: "It wouldn't? Like not even up close?"
Tyler: "No. Probably not.
Me:"Fine, I'll add that I'll poke their eyeballs out after I give them a clean head wound! The cyberstalker who reads this gets the picture!" This is why I don't share my random thoughts. Someone always kills their mojo.)

The other day I was looking at my baby cousin's toes. They looked like odd little nubs. By that I mean they looked really really short. Then I realized it wasn't the toes, it was me. I have gotten used to my daughters freakishly LONG toes (inherited from none other than their extremely handsome Daddy). I actually prefer them now.

Generic ice cream can be just as good as Dreyers. I'm a total Sunnyside $2.98 a gallon fan. However, generics can't compare to Keebler's fudge striped cookies. I felt like I was munching flour coated in cocoa wax while sitting on the beach sulking about my lumpy behind trying to avoid having to walk back up to the water to get Lily.

I love my kids. I really really really really really love my kids. And my husband. I really really really really really really love him too.

I am really creeped out by our economy. When I turn into a conspiracy theorist nutcase and begin hyperventilating, I keep trying to remind myself that an economy has cycles like this all the time. Then I worry about Iran having nuclear weapons. Then I turn on the The Hills and realize I'm not entirely opposed to Iran using them.

That's it. My random thoughts. Sorry to disappoint if you stopped in expecting something cohesive and thoughtful.

Care to share any of yours with me? I would LOVE to hear some, random thoughts from people are some of my favorite. We don't have to have a conversation about it...that's the beauty of them!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Lily is....

Lily Lu,

If you or London ever need to trace back the demise or success of your childhood in relation to how I performed as a parent, it would be to this : my philosophy on raising you. I'm not sure it is correct, or even the best way, but what I do know is this little philosophy is what I have felt deeply convicted of long before you were even here with me.
You are who you are, and always have been. I am, for now, a lucky (extremely lucky) keeper of this delicate and infinitely magnificent spirit you have encapsulated in the tiny limbs of your squishy little exterior (a darling exterior at that). My job, from the beginning of your first breath, has simply been to get to know that spirit. Slowly and surely, through intent observation and adoration I begin (or at least think I begin) to see who you really are, who I've actually received as a very blessed mother. Equipped with my mere 20+ years of life experience, as I get to know the real interior you, it is then my job to hopefully channel that spirit in the direction best suited for both its safety and its expansion. I can't let it be crushed or maimed or dented, but at the same time must also provide the discipline, direction and opportunities to send it heading into a place of positivity and growth.

Daunting, isn't it? (And some people think the challenge of motherhood was diapers...) There are days when I look at you sleeping soundly in your crib, your innocent little cheeks and cherry lips exhaling in slumber, and I just say, "I'm sorry." I wasn't a good keeper that day. My so-called channeling of your spirit was more like suffocating. My lack of sleep translated into impatience with your energy and boundless curiosity. My need to converse on the phone (over nothing more important than you) meant you had to scream (loudly) to get me to notice your milk cup was empty, which in turn meant I screamed (even more loudly) right back in frustration that I couldn't get a minute in of adult conversation. It is in a moment of quiet reflection in the soft night light of your bedroom that I am often brought back to center to remember how precious you are, and how lucky I am. Hopefully, more nights than not, I haven't needed to say I'm sorry. Instead when I come in to peek on you, you often still are awake and look up at me sweetly and excitedly, requesting, "Ching? Sching?" (Sing? Sing?) Then I hold you and we Ching. And my heart melts.

So, my dear Lily, I have a few observations thus far to share with you. I've had many from the time your were born. Some qualities have softened, some have expanded, and you never fail to reveal a new little hunk of your wonderful personality and spirit. All of them mix and mesh to create the most unique little Lily, one that has never existed before...
(And London, don't worry, my observations on you will most definitely be shared as we head into the coming months...when you begin to morph into something a little more challenging than the tub full of indescribably pure, chubby delight that you are)

Lily is...

LiLy iS BoLd. In fact, I swear your motto should be "I go where no child has gone before." You aren't afraid of water. You aren't afraid of the big kid slides. You aren't afraid of being left alone in the mall parking lot when I threaten to leave you for refusing to buckle in your car-seat. The other day a fellow father at the pool observed you and remarked, "Wow! I wish my two girls were that courageous!" as you dove and swam for your floating toys (more like drowned...but you didn't care). I replied, "No you don't." But I guess I didn't really mean it. It will serve you well in the coming years, once you learn to actually swim.

LilY is SmArt. You know your way around town, telling me “No Mom! Go da udder way!!!! Da udder way! (the other way!)” when we don’t take the turn from our home headed towards Ga-ma’s house. Driving past McDonald’s signs mean “Nuggets! Nuggets! (chicken nuggets)”, Wells Fargo signs mean “Chuckers!” (suckers), and grocery stores mean “sopping” (shopping). You count to ten, you have the second verse of our lullaby song memorized, and you somehow manage to unlock our inside doors using your hair clippies. I used to tease that my daughter was “gifted” when you were just days old. It didn’t matter if you were slobbering or pooping, I would sigh, “Oh, that’s my Lily….she’s gifted.” Now, I’m not joking. Bragging. But not joking.

Lily is fRiEndLy.
This may come as a shock to the fellow toddler you walloped over the head with a wooden dowel a month or so ago, but it is true. You love other little babies, and try to feed them bottles or pacifiers whether they really want it or not. You wave at people and say, “Hiii!” and “Love ya!” frequently – most often to any child in the 7-13 age group, who I assume must be the “cool teenager” group of toddlerhood fantasy.

Lily is saSsY. After repeated offenses and failed attempts at naughty chair banishments, in mounted frustration I will give you a swat on the bum. The problem is you swat right back. I lose my temper and scream, to which you scream back louder. The lovingly cheerful sigh of “Oh, what did I do to deserve this?” while I cuddled and mothered my sweetie pie Lily earlier that day occasionally morphs into “WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?!!!!!!” as I struggle and squirm with my sassy Lily.

Lily is cuRiOus. Or at least that is what I believe is the politically correct term. I have been known to substitute mischievous and naughty as well. Deep down, really really deep down, even after I have found granulated, sticky sugar all over my freshly mopped floor, the baking cocoa spilled all over the pantry, the lotion rubbed into the carpet, the urine all over our bills and calendar sitting on the countertop, the over-pressurized squeeze tube of BLUE “Go-gurt” (yogurt in a tube form for kids) exploded all over London and the entire interior of my vehicle, I know you are really just experimenting with different cause/effects. You are curious. And I am trying, really trying, not to kill the cat.

Lily is a LoviE. You are a busy girl, and busy girls don’t always have time to sit around getting all mushy. I get that. But I ache for you sometimes. I wish you would curl up on the couch with me for a solid three minutes without wanting to get down and play. But suddenly, out of nowhere you will give me a kiss or give a big hug. You adore London and look out for her safety. You wait anxiously for your Daddy to get home. You tell us to “Buckle cheets! (Buckle seats!)” when we go on a date. The other night, we had you sleep in our bed for a little extra cuddling. When Mom and Dad were ready to go to sleep, you weren’t, and so we turned our backs to you in an effort to speed up the snoozing progression. Soon, I felt a squishy little hand rubbing my back and tickling the back of my ears. You were caressing Mommy to sleep. All that scratching and caressing and tickling made for a whole lot of melting and dribbling of my sappy heart over my lovie Lily.

Lily is EnThuSiasTic. Every airplane is a new airplane to be shrieked at, every ice cream cone is yummier than the last, every bug is terrifying and deadly, every Wiggles song must be danced to. Every field of grass must be ran across, every trampoline jumped on, every bath an adventure in the deep blue Nemo ocean. Every day is exciting, every opportunity offers something to explore and learn. Your enthusiasm is contagious, and a reminder that although I have 20+ years on you, I’m nowhere near done learning too, and that most definitely is something to be excited about. So with you, I enjoy my ice cream more, I pay closer attention to bugs, and airplanes seem a little more miraculous.

LiLy is bEaUiTiFuL.
And London too. I can't even take the credit. Tyler and I's BEST features combined pale in comparison to how darling you and Lundy are. It isn't our signatures we can put in the bottom corner of your canvas...God is quite the artist.

The other day at the pool, as you dove in and out of the water after your toys, I turned to your Daddy and remarked, “You know, she really is amazing. She’s going to be just amazing.”
I’m sure of it. And that's a candid observation, without the bias speaking.

Love you Lu, forever.