Friday, June 26, 2009

Expressions Series - Jack

Biggest, cheesiest smile

Try to be serious, I said.

Thinking . . .

Some more thinking . . .

Weary from all the thinking.

What do you like best about school? I asked.

After school, he said.

He likes playing on the computer at Creative Kids.
He's trying to think of other things about school that he likes.

Do you have a girlfriend?

Oh look at that big smile!

He's being coy now and won't tell.

Can I guess?

Ooh, I guessed right!

He won't confess.



Our anniversary present. Isn't ten a ton of steel?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ten Years

Ten years ago today I married the love of my life.

It was a beautiful day filled with love and laughter, set against the spectacular backdrop of the woods of North Lake Tahoe.

I thought it was an amazing way to start our life together.

And now it's ten years later and it's been better than I could have ever hoped for.

Happy Tenth Anniversary, Tom.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Impromptu Photo Shoot

I looked out the front door and found them wrapped up together in the cape. I snapped this picture just as Jack turned.

Closeup of Jack at twilight. Perfect light. He gets a little self conscious so I just started asking him a bunch of questions so he wouldn't think about the camera. I'll that series in another blog post. Lots of expressions! I think this smile came across when I asked him if he has a girlfriend.

I asked them to get together for just a couple of shots and this is my favorite.

Dean is so photogenic. He looks like he has a secret, right?

Twenty Things

Twenty things I'm grateful for today:
  1. Sun! The sun is shining for the first time in weeks. It's been so gray and gloomy lately that today's sun is just what I needed.
  2. My friend Lisa who invited the boys over for a playdate with her son and encouraged me to take off for a few hours of alone time.
  3. A killer sale at BCBG that resulted in the purchase of the perfect little summer dress for the wedding I'm attending next month.
  4. The little bit of coffee that was left over this morning that was mercifully still hot.
  5. Tom for finishing the laundry yesterday and cleaning the living room.
  6. My impulse to suddenly stop at Jack in the Box to buy milkshakes for the boys - just because.
  7. Chocolate milk shakes!
  8. Baking soda - a great abrasive that works wonders on tubs and sinks.
  9. Tapia Brothers - a farm stand with parking right in front so the boys can stay in the car while I pick out fruit and vegetables for the week.
  10. Spongebob Squarepants - no explanation necessary.
  11. That rosemary, lemon and garlic work so well together - especially on chicken.
  12. That I finally feel comfortable using the grill.
  13. For the raisin pecan bread that my friend Kelly brought back from Mammoth.
  14. To myself for accepting the gifts that were given to me today.
  15. For my neighbors who come out of their houses to say hello, who wave from their porches, who marvel at how much the kids have grown.
  16. Long, long days.
  17. That even with the sun shining today it is still cool enough to wear jeans without getting hot.
  18. Internet connection - I'm so lost without it.
  19. My camera which allows me to see my family from another window.
  20. My wonderful life.

Off Road

Tom had the boys clean the living room and their room yesterday and when they finished, he rewarded them by introducing them to our neglected, dusty playstation 2. So when I came home yesterday Jack was playing Haunted Mansion. It's amazing to see how quickly he figured it out. He only needed me next to him on the couch because he was scared! This morning, instead of coming out and turning on cartoons right away he came right to me and asked if he could play gamestation. Now they're playing ATV road race and I'm having a hard time watching. I can tell you this - when they're 16 and it's time to take them to an empty parking lot to teach them to drive, I'm taking Jack. Dean cannot drive in a straight line.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Next generation

At the apple store, jack and Dean amuse themselves while we order Tom's iphone. People - we didn't show them a thing. They picked them up and figured out how to play games. Seriously.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Did I mention?

That Dean lost another tooth last week? Super cute!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

An update

Ok, this is going to be very stream of consciousness but there's a lot going on and I never seem to have time to write. So, here it is:

He's doing great in school but really looking forward to summer vacation. He asks me every few days how many days until summer vacation? Without weekends? With weekends? How many days until we go to Grandma's? Without weekends? You get it. He wants to go swimming every chance he gets. He has become so confident in the water that he can now hang with the older boys and I don't freak out. Don't worry, I still keep my eyes on him. He laid in bed last night and read "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" all by himself without any help from me. When he gets tired, he puts his book down and goes to sleep. Everywhere we go he sounds out words and more often than not, gets them right. It's amazing and thrilling and he makes me beam with pride. He's still super competitive but we're working on that by playing games just for fun, not keeping score. He can be extremely stubborn but I'm discovering that if you give him some love instead of anger, his anger just deflates. He will get himself up on a Saturday morning, close our bedroom door so we won't hear him, put on the television, make himself cereal or a peanut butter and honey sandwich, pour the milk or the juice without spilling a drop, and make breakfast for Dean, too. I have fallen in love with him all over again.

My artist, my imagineer, my sweet and salty boy. Still full of contradictions but now there are fewer dramatics. He now sleeps so soundly that I check to make sure he's breathing. He is struggling with reading but is trying his best and is keeping his frustration in check. He is a social butterfly at school and everyone loves him. Even his teacher, though she'd really like it if he'd just do his work before socializing. He loves to play and hates to work. He tumbles into every show, every character he sees on TV and can quote lines from those shows with perfect timing, perfect pitch. He has wild hair with a wild spirit to match. He is also excited for summer vacation and can't wait to hang out with his friends James and Frank. He loves swimming but doesn't like getting his head wet so he just dog paddles around, his little face turned up to the sky. He has suddenly declared that he's big now and doesn't need us to lay down with him at night. This is a new development as of Sunday night and it is bittersweet. It's nice to have the time back but I'll miss the way he manages to squeeze his legs in between mine and bury his head in my shoulder and the way he will occasionally start talking in his sleep, his words crisp and clear but what he's saying is absolute, utter nonsense. And yes, I've fallen in love with him all over again.

What can I say about this man that I haven't already said? He continues to surprise me, he works his tail off, constantly strives to make our lives better, richer, always offers to take the boys so I can have time to myself, has infinite patience, gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. He surprises us (me and the boys) by recording new shows that he thinks we'll like or he'll find a movie that he thinks we'll like. One night at the Sullivan's we did Karaoke and I sang "All That Jazz". Weeks later, I discovered that he had recorded "All That Jazz" and "Chicago" for me. Just because he thought I'd like it. He is always thinking about places to take the boys, ways to fix up our house, ways to make more money - he never stops. And he supports me every step of the way. I fall in love with him more each day.

I'm still a work in progress but I'm having a lot of fun figuring it out. I still get the crap beat out of me on a regular basis but I'm tough and I refuse to back down. I just tested for green belt last Saturday and it was awesome. I am now "halfway" to black. The techniques get harder so I'm sure the progress will slow a bit but I'm having a blast so if it takes twice as long to get through the next six belts, well that's ok. Yesterday Master D brought out the nunchucks and we just played with those for a half hour. It was so fun I bought a set for myself today! Tom thinks I'm crazy. He just shakes his head at me. I went to my friend and training partner's Black belt test today. It was inspiring. After the boys went to bed tonight I worked on my new form and hand techniques. Speaking of the boys - after dinner tonight we all ended up on the floor in the living room just cuddling and tickling with the boys and Jack asked Tom if he wanted a massage. Naturally, Tom said yes. Jack got to work pounding on his back with knife hands, rubbing underneath his shirt, scratching his back. Of course Dean wanted in on the act too so he offered to give one to me. He went to town! Rubbing my back, doing the knife hands, scratching my back - everything. Then he worked on my neck and my shoulders, my upper arms and my calves. They were so earnest and excited to be doing something for us. It was really nice. So we took them out for ice cream.

I know this post is sort of haphazard and messy. I actually started it 5 days ago but couldn't finish it so it's been sitting in my drafts folder all this time. It all still applies, though. The boys are really fun right now and we're enjoying ourselves.

Tomorrow we're going to the movies to see Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. I have to video Dean saying the title because he adds a syllable to Smithsonian but I can't remember what it is. I know it's cute, though.